Centre notifies Electoral Bonds to cleanse system

RSTV Bureau
File: Poll staff checking EVMs during recently held assembly elections.

File: Poll staff checking EVMs during recently held assembly elections.

The centre on Tuesday outlined the contours of electoral bonds, in a bid to clean up political funding. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced guidelines of new ‘electoral bonds’ that can be bought from specified branches of SBI and can be used to donate money only to registered political parties.

A citizen of India or a body incorporated in India will be eligible to purchase the bond. Bonds can be bought for any value, in multiples of  Rs1,000, Rs 10,000, Rs 1 lakh, Rs 10 lakh or Rs 1 crore

Electoral bonds will not carry the name of the payee and have to be encashed only through a designated bank account within 15 days.

Clarifying further, the Finance Minister said these Bonds will also act as interest-free debt instruments equivalent to promissory notes, where the SBI will be the custodian of the donor’s funds until the political parties are paid.

The bonds can be purchased for 10 days each in the months of January, April, July and October. But then the purchase window will extend to 30 days in the year of general election.