The Union government recently told the Supreme Court that the procedure for funding political parties under the Electoral Bond Scheme-2018 is “absolutely transparent”.
- The electoral bonds system was introduced in 2017 by way of a money bill introducing amendments in the Finance Act and the Representation of People Act.
- It was implemented in 2018.
- The electoral bonds are issued in multiples of Rs 1,000, Rs 10,000, Rs 1 lakh, Rs 10 lakh and Rs 1 crore.
- State Bank of India is the only bank authorised to sell electoral bonds.
- Buyers can donate the bonds to a party of their choice and the bonds have to be cashed by the party through its verified account within 15 days.
- No payment shall be made to any political party if the electoral bond is deposited after expiry of the validity period of 15 days.
- Eligible political parties are allotted a verified account by the Election Commission of India (ECI) and the electoral bond transactions can be made only through this account.
- Buyers of the bonds have to submit full KYC details at the time of buying.
- However, the beneficiary political party is not required to reveal the identity of the entity that has given it the bonds.