The first sale of Electoral Bonds will begin from 1 March this year, and it will continue for a 10-day period till 10 March, Finance Ministry tweeted. The bonds can be encashed by an eligible political party only through a bank account with the authorised bank. Only State Bank of India has been authorised to issue and encash electoral bonds at four of its branches situated at Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi. The validity of the Electoral Bonds is 15 days from the date of the issuance. However, if the bond gets deposited after the expiration of the validity period, no payment shall be made to any receiving political party. The Electoral Bonds were proposed with a goal of reforming election funding and bring cash donations under control.
The bonds will be issued for particular denominations by a notified bank. The Electoral Bonds can be purchased either through cheque or making payments online. The introduction of Electoral Bonds is likely to help clean the political funding scenario of the country as things will be available in public domain now for all the voters to see, believe various political commentators.
Provisions of the Electoral Bond scheme:
- The Electoral bonds can be purchased by a citizen of India or incorporated or established in India.
- Any person eligible to purchase electoral bonds can do it either singly or jointly with other individuals.
- Only the political parties which are registered under the section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 are eligible to receive the bonds.
The bank account of the political parties will get credited on the same day of depositing the Electoral Bonds. Although the bonds shall not carry the donor’s name, he has to issue his KYC details to the banks. It was in budget 2017-18, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced the electoral bonds with an aim to bring transparency in the political funding. The contours of the Electoral Bonds were notified by the central government on 2 January. Unlike regular debt, these Electoral Bonds are interest-free debt instruments.