Earlier this week, the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) released a report on the sale of electoral bonds since the scheme was launched in 2018 (The Indian Express, January 22). The report, based on a response to a query under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, said 12,313 electoral bonds worth Rs 6,128.72 crore were sold in 12 phases from March 2018 to October 2019, and political parties redeemed 12,173 of these for Rs 6,108.47 crore. This accounts for 99.67% of the total bond value.
Under the scheme, bonds not encashed within the validity period of 15 days are to be deposited by the authorised bank with the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund. “It is, therefore, likely that the remaining 140 bonds amounting to a total of Rs 20.25 crore were deposited in the PMRF,” the report observed.
MARCH-APRIL 2019 PEAK: Out of the total sale of Rs 6,128.72 core, bonds worth Rs 3,622.06 crore were sold in just two phases — March and April 2019, during the general elections. This accounted for 59.1% of the sales. Of these bonds, 2,742 worth Rs 1365.69 cr (22.3%) were purchased in March 2019, and 4,681 worth Rs 2256.37 cr (36.8%) in April.
MUMBAI MAXIMUM: Across phases, Mumbai witnessed the maximum sale (by value) of 2,899 bonds worth Rs 1879.96 crore (30.7%), followed by Kolkata with 3,478 bonds worth Rs 1440.34 crore, and New Delhi with 1,630 bonds worth Rs 918.58 crore.