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Govt to sell new set of controversial electoral bonds from January 13

Govt to sell new set of controversial electoral bonds from January 13

Govt to sell new set of controversial electoral bonds from January 13
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By CNBC-TV18 Jan 10, 2020 6:26:55 AM IST (Updated)

The Narendra Modi government on Thursday said 13th tranche of electoral bonds sale will take place from January 13 to January 22.

The Narendra Modi government is pressing ahead with the issue of the controversial electoral bonds, which critics say conceal ties between politicians and businessmen, with the sale of a new tranche offering due to take place from January 13 to January 22.

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The finance ministry said in a statement that State Bank of India (SBI) has been authorised to issue and encash electoral bonds through its 29 authorised branches on these dates. SBI, India's largest, is the only authorised bank to issue such bonds.
Electoral bonds allow individuals or companies to deposit money in a political party’s bank account at SBI. Donors can buy as many bonds as they want without having to reveal their identity. Political parties must declare the amount of money they received through the bonds, but don't have to reveal the identity of the funders.
The government has pitched electoral bonds as an alternative to cash donations made to political parties, saying this form of raising money will bring transparency in political funding, but activists say they obscure the deep relations between parties and businesses.
Corporates can not only fund parties anonymously,  they also no longer face a limit on the donations.  About 95 percent of electoral bonds issued as the first tranche offering in March 2018 was snapped up the ruling BJP, according to data reviewed by Reuters through a Right To Information request and BJP filings.
According to provisions of the scheme, electoral bonds can be purchased by a person who is a citizen of India or incorporated or established in India. A person can buy electoral bonds, either singly or jointly, with other individuals.
Registered political parties that have secured not less than 1 per cent of the votes polled in the last election of the Lok Sabha or Legislative Assembly will be eligible to receive electoral bonds.
An electoral bond will be valid for 15 days from the date of issue. No payment would be made to any payee political party if the bond is deposited after expiry of the validity period. The bond deposited by any eligible political party into its account would be credited on the same day.
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