Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Electoral bonds worth Rs 16,000 crore sold since 2018, shows latest RTI data

According to statistics from a Right to Information response, a total of 27,133 electoral bonds worth Rs 15,946.30 crore have been sold in 29 segments since the scheme’s inception in 2018.

The State Bank of India informed transparency activist Retired Commodore Lokesh Batra, who submitted the Right to Information plea that, 26,939 electoral bonds worth Rs 15,922.4222 crore had been secured.

Mumbai sold the highest number of electoral bonds with a denomination of Rs 1 crore (3,844), followed by Hyderabad (3,333) and Kolkata (2,844).

Electoral bonds are monetary instruments that citizens or business entities can purchase from a bank and then transfer to a political party, which can subsequently redeem them.

No one is compelled to announce their purchase of these interest-free bonds, and political parties are not required to show the source of the money. As a result, the entire process remains anonymous and the audited financial statements only reflect the total money received through the electoral bonds to the Election Commission.

Nevertheless, the union government has access to information about these donors, because it oversees the State Bank of India.

 The 30th tranche of electoral bond sales is scheduled between January 2 and January 11.

According to the Ministry of Finance, the electoral bonds will be valid for 15 days from the date of issue, and no payment will be made to any payee political party if the bond is placed after the validity period has expired.

“The electoral bond deposited by an eligible political party in its account shall be credited on the same day,” said the ministry statement.

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