10-day sale of electoral bonds begins from today
The 16th tranche of electoral bonds will be open for sale from April 1. The approval to the sale was given by the Union finance ministry on Tuesday. They will be available till April 10.
Electoral bonds have been pitched as an alternative to cash donations made to political parties as part of efforts to bring transparency in political funding.
The electoral bonds can be purchased by a person who is a citizen of India or incorporated or established in India, according to the finance ministry.
The Supreme Court last month dismissed a plea seeking stay on the sale of these bonds in the wake of Assembly elections in five states and union territory of Puducherry. The court told petitioner, NGO Association for Democratic Reforms, that the sale of these bonds have continued “without any impediment” in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
According to government rules, only the political parties registered under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (43 of 1951) and which secured not less than one per cent of the votes polled in the last general election to the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly of a state, will be eligible to receive the electoral bonds.
These bonds can be encashed by an eligible political party only through a bank account with the authorised bank.
The government has authorised State Bank of India to issue and encash electoral bonds through its 29 approved branches. The 15th tranche of bond sale took place from January 1 to January 10, 2021.
The opposition parties have criticised electoral bonds, calling the route of funding as "opaque". However, the Election Commission recently said that these bonds to not violate the model code of conduct, which is in place due to Assembly elections.
The electoral bond scheme was notified by the government in 2018.