Analysis of Funds Collected and Expenditure Incurred by Political Parties : Gujarat & Himachal Pradesh Assembly Elections, 2017
· Political parties are required to submit a statement of election expenditure to the Election Commission within 75 days of completion of Assembly Elections.
· The expenditure statement contains details of the total amount received as funds in the form of cash, cheques and demand drafts and the total amount spent under various heads.
· The expenditure statement contains information on the amount spent on the following heads at the central, state, district and constituency levels by the party:
o Travel expenses
o Other expenses
o Expenditure towards candidates
· Political parties submit these statements providing information of funds collected and spent between announcement and completion of elections. This period could be between 3 weeks to 3 months based on the notification issued by the Election Commission.
· This report analyses the funds received and expenditure incurred by recognized political parties, during the state Assembly elections to Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, held in the months of November and December, 2017.
· 6 National Parties and 6 Regional Parties have been considered for analysis in this report.
· Election expenditure statements of AAP and JDS for Gujarat Assembly election are unavailable on the website of the ECI.
Details provided in the Election Expenditure Statement
Funds Collected and Expenditure incurred by political parties
· Total funds collected by ten political parties during Gujarat & Himachal Pradesh Assembly Elections held in 2017 was Rs 356.78 cr and total expenditure incurred was Rs 163.73 cr.
· Funds collected by the parties at the Central Headquarters was Rs 215.36 cr and expenditure was Rs 42.72 cr. Gujarat State Units spent Rs 119.11 cr while the Himachal Pradesh units spent Rs 1.90 cr.
· AIFB & JDU are the only parties that have incurred no expenditure either at the central or at the state unit level despite contesting elections.
Expenditure incurred by political parties under various heads
· Political parties declare their expenditure under the heads of Publicity, Travel Expenses, Other/ Miscellaneous expenses and Lumpsum amount paid to their contesting candidates.
· Political Parties that contested in Gujarat & Himachal Pradesh Assembly Elections, 2017, spent the highest, Rs 95.82 cr on Publicity, followed by Rs 61.35 cr on Lumpsum amount paid to candidates, Rs 37.89 cr to Other/Miscellaneous expenses and Rs 32.38 cr on travel expenses.
· Expenditure on publicity is 42.13% of the overall expenditure declared under various heads.
· Expenditure on other/miscellaneous is 16.66% of the overall expenditure declared under various heads.
Expenditure on Publicity by political parties
· Political Parties are required to segregate their publicity expenses under three heads: Media Advertisement, Publicity Materials and Public Meetings.
· During Gujarat & Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections, political parties spent the maximum on Media Advertisement (Rs 65.105 cr), followed by expenditure on Publicity Materials (Rs 17.07 cr) and Public Meeting (Rs 13.645 cr).
· Publicity expenditure from Gujarat State Units is the highest, Rs 78.8 cr or 82.24% of the total expenditure on publicity, followed by Rs 15.08 cr or 15.74% from Central Headquarters and Rs 1.94 cr or 2.02% from Himachal Pradesh State Units.
Graph: Expenditure incurred on Publicity by political parties during Gujarat and HP Assembly Elections, 2017
Expenditure on Travel by political parties
· The ‘Travel’ head is segregated into travel expenses incurred specifically on star campaigners and that of the party leaders.
· Political parties spent 95.24% of their total travel expenses or Rs 30.84 cr on their star campaigners and the remaining 4.76%or Rs 1.54 cr on travel of their party leaders.
· Travel expenses from Gujarat State Unit by itself was Rs 16.94 cr or 52.33%, which was higher than Rs 15.42 cr or 47.64% spent from Central Headquarters.
Graph: Expenditure incurred on Travel by political parties during Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly Elections, 2017
· It must be made mandatory for all political parties to submit their statements of expenditure in the format given by the ECI, within the prescribed time limit. Political parties not submitting on time or in the prescribed format should be heavily penalized.
· The details of all donors who contribute to national and regional parties exclusively for their election campaigns must be declared in the public domain irrespective of the amount donated.
· A format similar to the donations report along with the date of donations, submitted to the ECI on an annual basis, has to be prescribed for the expenditure statement so as to bring in more transparency in the finances of the political parties especially during elections when it is said that black money plays a major role.
· Where possible, expenditure must be limited to transactions via cheque/DD/RTGS so as to reduce use of black money in elections, as per the transparency guidelines issued by the ECI.
· Similar to the shadow observers of the ECI for monitoring expenditure of candidates, there must also be observers for monitoring the expenditure of political parties.
Ms. Pankti Jog
Dr. O.P. Bhuraita
National Election Watch (NEW) & Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR)
Media and Journalist Helpline
+91 80103 94248
Maj Gen Anil Verma (Retd)
Head – NEW & ADR
Prof Jagdeep Chhokar
IIM Ahmedabad (Retd)
Founder Member- NEW & ADR
Prof Trilochan Sastry
Founder Member – NEW & ADR