New Delhi: The union finance ministry authorised the issue and encashment of electoral bonds through a total of 29 branches of the State Bank of India (SBI) from November 9 to 15.
This comes in addition to the government’s provision to widen the buying window of electoral bonds by 15 extra days in the year of respective assembly elections.
“State Bank of India (SBI), in the XXIII Phase of sale, has been authorised to issue and encash Electoral Bonds through its 29 Authorized Branches (as per list enclosed) w.e.f. 09.11.2022 to 15.11.2022,” the ministry said in a release.
Only an additional period of 30 days was allowed to be specified earlier by the central government in the year of the Lok Sabha elections. After the latest official gazette, additional 15 days will now be allowed in years that have state elections, too.
“An additional period of fifteen days shall be specified by the central government in the year of general elections to the legislative assembly of states and union territories with the legislature,” a gazette notification said earlier.
The State Bank of India (SBI) is the sole authorised bank to sell and redeem the bonds.
Customers of other banks can also purchase the bonds via different payment channels provided to them.
However, a political party can only redeem the bond from one of the 29 authorised branches of the bank.
The move comes days before the assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh (HP) while the Model Code of Conduct is in effect in these states.
This will enable a fresh infusion of corporate funding ahead of Gujarat and HP polls.
Sold four times a year (in January, April, July and October) for 10 days as notified by the government, electoral bonds allow political parties to accept money from donors whose identities are kept anonymous. They are sold in multiples of Rs 1,000, Rs 10,000, Rs 1 lakh, Rs 10 lakh, and Rs 1 crore.