Sale of 20th tranche of electoral bonds to begin on 1 April

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The union government has notified the issuance of 20th tranche of electoral bonds on Wednesday, according to an official release from the finance ministry.

The electoral bond scheme was introduced in 2018 and has been pitched as an alternative to cash donations made to political parties as part of efforts to bring transparency in political funding.

A person being an individual can buy electoral bonds, either singly or jointly with other individuals. Only the political parties registered under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (43 of 1951) and which secured not less than 1% of the votes polled in the last general election to the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly of the State, will be eligible to receive the electoral bonds.

They will be encashed by an eligible political party only through a bank account with the authorized bank.

“State Bank of India (SBI), in the XXth Phase of sale, has been authorised to issue and encash Electoral Bonds through its 29 Authorized Branches ( as per list enclosed) w.e.f. 01.04.2022 to 10.04.2022,” the ministry said.

Electoral bonds shall be valid for fifteen calendar days from the date of issue and no payment shall be made to any payee Political Party if the Electoral Bond is deposited after expiry of the validity period.

The bond deposited by an eligible political party in its account shall be credited on the same day.

The 29 specified SBI branches are in cities such as Lucknow, Shimla, Dehradun Kolkata, Guwahati, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Patna, New Delhi, Chandigarh, Srinagar, Gandhinagar, Bhopal, Raipur, and Mumbai.

The 19th tranche of bond sale took place from January 1 to January 10, 2022. The sale of the first batch of electoral bonds took place from March 1-10, 2018.

SBI is the only authorised bank to issue such bonds.

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