The Department of Economic Affairs has amended the electoral bonds scheme to allow their sale for 15 extra days during the year of general elections or to the legislative assembly of states and Union territories with legislature.

 

Details

  • So far, it was sold four times a year (in January, April, July and October) for 10 days as notified by the government.
  • With the latest change, 15 additional days will be provided in the years that have assembly elections, too.

 

What is an ‘electoral bond’?

  • An electoral bond is like a financial tool used for making donations to political parties.
  • The general public can also issue these bonds to fund eligible political parties.
  • The bonds play a similar role as banknotes that are payable to the bearer free of interest and demand.
  • An individual party can purchase these bonds digitally or with the help of a DD or cheque.
  • The electoral bond scheme was launched by the Union government in 2018.

 

Working

  • A citizen of India or a body incorporated in India is eligible to purchase the bond.
  • EBs are issued/purchased for any value, in multiples of Rs 1,000, Rs 10,000, Rs 1,00,000, Rs 10,00,000 and Rs 1,00,00,000 from the specified branches of the State Bank of India (SBI).
      • SBI is the only bank authorised to sell these bonds.
  • EBs have a life of only 15 days during which it can be used for making donation only to the political parties registered under section 29A of the Representation of the Peoples Act, 1951.
      • The party must have secured not less than one per cent of the votes polled in the last general election to the Lok Sabha or a State Legislative Assembly.
  • The bonds shall be available for purchase for a period of 10 days each in the months of January, April, July and October as may be specified by the Central Government.
  • The bond can be encashed by an eligible political party only through a designated bank account with the authorised bank.
  • The political parties have to disclose the amount to the Election Commission.