New Delhi: The finance ministry on Friday said the fourth tranche of electoral bonds sale will take place from 2-11 July. Electoral bonds are being pitched as an alternative to cash donations made to political parties and bring transparency in political funding.

“The State Bank of India (SBI), in the 4th phase of sale, has been authorised to issue and encash electoral bonds through its 11 authorised branches from July 2, 2018 to July 11, 2018," the ministry said in a statement. The 11 specified SBI branches are in cities New Delhi, Gandhinagar, Chandigarh, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Mumbai, Jaipur, Lucknow, Chennai, Kolkata and Guwahati.

The government had notified the electoral bond scheme in January this year. As per provisions of the scheme, electoral bonds may be purchased by a person, who is a citizen of India or entities incorporated or established in India.

Registered political parties that have secured not less than 1% of the votes polled in the last election of the Lok Sabha or legislative assembly will be eligible to receive electoral bonds.

The sale of first batch of electoral bonds took place between 1-10 March, 2018. The second phase was launched on 2-10 April. The third phase took place during 1-10 May.

SBI is the only authorised bank to issue such bonds. A person being an individual can buy electoral bonds, either singly or jointly, with other individuals.

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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