JAN 15, 2012 KATHMANDU – Communist Party that always outspoken with the tag “party of poor’s” are the richest political party in Nepal with its spending of above Rs. 90 Million annually.
UCPN (Maoist), which emerged as the largest political party in the 2008 Constituent Assembly elections, is also the most resourceful of all, with its annual income and expenditure reaching as high as Rs 90 million.
The income and expenditure details submitted by political parties to the Election Commission (EC) as of Friday reveal that the Maoist party ran the largest financial portfolio followed by the Nepali Congress (Rs 49 million) and the CPN-UML (Rs 30 million) in the fiscal year 2010/11.
As the parties failed to voluntarily submit income/expenditure details every year as per legal requirements, the EC had given all the registered parties till Friday to submit their latest and pending financial reports since the 2008 elections.
The parties are required to make public their sources of income and expenditure within six months after the end of a fiscal year.
Of the 80 parties registered with the EC, only two—Rastriya Jana Morcha and Hindu Prajatantrik Party—had submitted their property details of the last four years.
The UCPN (Maoist), NC and UML submitted audited financial reports of the last four years only this week.
A number of global anti-corruption watchdogs, including Transparency International, have named political parties as the “most corrupt” institutions in Nepal. The 2011 TI report said the parties in Nepal were the most corruption-prone area as they remained largely unregulated.
The financial reports submitted by the parties show that they have identified donations and membership fees as the major sources of income and rallies, organisation building and other official work as areas of expenditure.
The Maoist party’s financial report, for instance, stated that the party spent all the Rs 90 million in the fiscal year 2010/2011 that was collected through party membership, regular levy received from lawmakers and other party members, donations from well-wishers and ministers and other occasional support from donors. The Maoist party collects Rs 10,000 from each of its total 238 lawmakers.
NC’s financial reports show that it generated Rs 49 million and spent Rs 9.8 million in the year 2010/11. Likewise, in the fiscal year 209/2010, it earned Rs 3.8 million, but spent Rs 4 million. NC Chief Secretary Basanta Gautam said levy collected from lawmakers, active and general members and support from various donors were major sources of income.
Similarly, the UML spent Rs 80 million, an all-time high for the party in 2008/09, the year it organised its General Convention. The party’s expenditure in 2009/2010 stood at Rs 50 million. UML’s report submitted to the EC stated that the party was running at a loss. Acting Chief Election Commissioner Neel Kantha Uprety said the parties were asked to submit the details to make them more transparent. Though the EC’s deadline expired on Friday, it is mulling extending the same.