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Business News/ News / India/  SBI’s RTI reply shows electoral bonds worth 15,956.30 crore sold in 29 tranches since 2018
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SBI’s RTI reply shows electoral bonds worth ₹15,956.30 crore sold in 29 tranches since 2018

SBI said of the total bonds that were sold, 194 bonds worth ₹23.8874 crore were not encashed and thus transferred to the PMNRF

The SBI is the only authorised bank to issue and encash electoral bonds. REUTERSPremium
The SBI is the only authorised bank to issue and encash electoral bonds. REUTERS

Since the inception of the electoral bond scheme in 2018, as many as 27,133 or 55.9% of printed electoral bonds worth 15,956.3096 crore have been sold in 29 tranches, State Bank of India (SBI) said on Tuesday in a reply to a right to information (RTI) query.

The RTI was filed by transparency activist and war veteran Commodore Lokesh Batra.

The bank said that of the total bonds that were sold, 194 bonds worth 23.8874 crore were not encashed and thus transferred to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF).

It also said that 1,109 bonds issued in the 29th tranche between November 6 and November 20 were encashed. 

Between April 2017 and March 2022, the PMNRF had collected 2,065.69 crore in total.

Between 2019 and 2022, a total of 674,250 electoral bonds worth 28,531.5 crore have been printed by the India Security Press at Nashik. 

The SBI is the only authorised bank to issue and encash electoral bonds. 

Electoral bonds are a controversial funding instrument that allows donations to flow through the banking system, but masks the identity of donors.

These bonds were pitched as an alternative to cash donations made to political parties as part of efforts to bring transparency in political funding.

According to the provisions of the scheme, electoral bonds can be purchased by any citizen of India or entity incorporated or established in the country. An individual can buy electoral bonds, either singly or jointly, with other individuals. 

Only political parties registered under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and which secured not less than 1 per cent of the votes polled in the last Lok Sabha or state legislative assembly election are eligible to receive electoral bonds.

Since the launch of the electoral bond scheme in 2018, the BJP has received 57% of the 9,200 crore in electoral bond funds while the Congress got 10%, according to a report by Bloomberg.

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Published: 28 Dec 2023, 03:45 PM IST
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