A woman has an indelible mark painted on her finger before casting her vote at a polling station in Varanasi. (Photographer: Pankaj Nangia/ Bloomberg News)

Finance Ministry Says Third Tranche Of Electoral Bonds To Go On Sale From May 1

The finance ministry today said that the third tranche of electoral bonds sale will take place between May 1-10.

“State Bank of India, in the third phase of sale, has been authorised to issue and encash electoral bonds through its 11 authorised branches w.e.f. May 1 to May 10, 2018,” the ministry said in a statement. The 11 specified SBI branches are in cities like New Delhi, Gandhinagar, Chandigarh, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Mumbai, Jaipur, Lucknow, Chennai, Kolkata and Guwahati.

Electoral bonds are being pitched as an alternative to cash donations made to political parties to bring transparency in political funding. The government had notified the Electoral Bond Scheme 2018 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 which have secured not less than 1 percent of votes polled in the last election of the Lok Sabha or legislative assembly will be eligible to receive electoral bonds.

The sale of the first batch of electoral bonds took place between March 1 and March 10. The second phase was launched on April 2 till April 10.

SBI is the only authorised bank to issue such bonds. A person being an individual can buy electoral bonds, either alone 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.