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The State Bank of India (SBI) sold electoral bonds worth ₹695.34 crore from April 1 to 10, when the Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, West Bengal, Assam and Kerala polls were in full swing.
- The amount sold was the highest-ever for any Assembly elections since the scheme started in 2018.
What are electoral bonds?
- Electoral Bond is a financial instrument for making donations to political parties.
- The bonds are issued in multiples of Rs. 1,000, Rs. 10,000, Rs. 1 lakh, Rs. 10 lakh and Rs. 1 crore without any 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.
- These bonds are redeemable in the designated account of a registered political party.
- The bonds are available for purchase by any person (who is a citizen of India or incorporated or established in India) for a period of ten days each in the months of January, April, July and October as may be specified by the Central Government.
- A person being an individual can buy bonds, either singly or jointly with other individuals.
- Donor’s name is not mentioned on the bond.
- What are electoral bonds?
- Who can issue these bonds?
Critically examine the effectiveness of electoral bonds in ensuring transparent political funding and suggest alternatives?
Sources: the Hindu.