State Bank of India (SBI) will begin selling the second tranche of electoral bonds in the first week of April. Available for purchase from April 2-10, eligible entities can buy them at any of the designated branches of SBI.
The bonds, aimed at creating transparency in the political funding of parties will be available at specified branches in Bangalore, New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Gandhinagar, Jaipur, Bhopal, Guwahati, and Lucknow.
What are electoral bonds?
Electoral bonds are bonds which can be utilised by an individual/organisation looking to donate money to a political party. One could think of them as bank notes that the bearer can encash. These bonds are free of interest and are available in multiples of Rs.1,000, Rs.10,000, Rs.1 lakh, and Rs.1 crore.
Anyone looking to donate to a political party can buy these bonds, provided that they have a KYC-compliant account.
These bonds are valid for a period of 15 days, within which the political party can encash them.
Who can these bonds be given to?
These bonds can be donated to any registered political party which has received a minimum vote share of 1 per cent either in the most recent state election or Lok Sabha election. Such parties are provided a verified account which can be used to accept the money.
The first tranche of the bond issue saw electoral bonds worth Rs.222 crore being issued in the month of March this year.
The government has authorised only State Bank of India to issue these bonds.
While the primary aim of the government while implementing this policy was to bring transparency into the system of political donations, there are a few activists who feel that the entire process can help in converting black money into white.