From Thursday, April 1, the 16th tranche of electoral bonds will be open for sale. The Finance Ministry had given the approval for the same on Tuesday, March 30. It will be a 10-day long sale and will remain open till April 10, 2021. The Finance Ministry in its statement said that “The State Bank of India (SBI), in the XVI Phase of sale, has been authorized to issue and encash electoral bonds through its 29 authorized branches with effect from 01.04.2021 to 10.04.2021.”
The 29 specified SBI branches are in cities such as Kolkata, Guwahati, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Patna, New Delhi, Chandigarh, Shimla, Srinagar, Dehradun, Gandhinagar, Bhopal, Raipur, Mumbai, and Lucknow.
What are electoral bonds?
Electoral bonds are an alternative to cash donations made to political parties. It is an initiative to bring transparency in political funding. However, concerns are being raised by the opposition parties about alleged opaqueness in funding through such bonds.
Who can buy electoral bonds?
According to the Finance Ministry, any individual who is a citizen of India or incorporated or established in India can purchase the electoral bonds.
Who are eligible to receive electoral bonds?
As per the government rules, only the political parties who have registered under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (43 of 1951) and have secured not less than one percent of the votes polled in the last general election to the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly of a state, are eligible to receive the electoral bonds. Also, these bonds can be encashed by an eligible political party only via a bank account with the authorized bank.
The validity period of an electoral bond is15 days from the date of issue. If the bond is deposited after the expiry of the validity period, no payment would be made to any payee party.
In 2018, the government of India had notified the electoral bond scheme. From March 1 to March 10, 2018, the sale of the first batch of electoral bonds was held. While the sale of the 15th tranche of the bond was held from January 1 to January 10, 2021.