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Govt likely to allow sale of electoral bonds in October

“The structure of the scheme allows periodic issuances. Fresh subscription will most likely happen in October as of now, this is as per the periodicity specified in scheme itself,” a senior government official told The Indian Express.

Written by Sunny Verma | New Delhi |
August 22, 2020 1:10:41 am
According to audited financial accounts of political parties till March 31, 2019, BJP received Rs 1660.89 crore through electoral bonds, followed by Congress party’s collection of Rs 388.26 crore. (Illustration by Manali Ghosh)

Ahead of Assembly elections in Bihar in next few months, the government is expected to allow sale of electoral bonds in October. Even as the Election Commission of India has not made any official announcement yet about the poll schedule in the state, elections in Bihar are due in October-November.

“The structure of the scheme allows periodic issuances. Fresh subscription will most likely happen in October as of now, this is as per the periodicity specified in scheme itself,” a senior government official told The Indian Express.

As per the Electoral Bond Scheme, 2018 notified in the official gazette on January 2, 2018, “the bonds under this Scheme shall be available for purchase by any person for a period of ten days each in the months of January, April, July and October as may be specified by the Central Government.”

In the year of general elections, the central government may specify an additional period of thirty days for sale of these bonds. The finance ministry is not expected to make any changes to the structure of the scheme as of now, the official indicated. The thirteenth tranche of these bonds were issued from January 13-22, this year.

There have been some occasions when government has deviated from the specified periodicity for issuance of these bonds. The sixth tranche of electoral bonds, for instance, were issued from November 1-10, 2018. During 2019 general elections, electoral bonds were sold in the months of March, April and May.

The minimum amount for donation in electoral bonds is Rs 1000 and there is no maximum limit. State Bank of India is authorised to issue and encash these bonds, which are valid for fifteen days from the date of issuance.

According to audited financial accounts of political parties till March 31, 2019, BJP received Rs 1660.89 crore through electoral bonds, followed by Congress party’s collection of Rs 388.26 crore, out of total collections of Rs 2753.67 crore by national and state political parties. This is based on data provided by finance ministry in Parliament.

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