Electoral bond sales to open again on November 6

Electoral bond sales to open again on November 6

Image used for representative purpose onlu.

Image used for representative purpose onlu.
| Photo Credit: The Hindu

With five State assemblies going to polls, the Finance Ministry on November 4 announced a fresh tranche of electoral bond sales over the fortnight from November 6 to November 20, the second window for these bonds’ sales within a month. 

With the latest notification, electoral bonds are effectively likely to be on sale for at 75 days between October 2023 and May 2024, when the Lok Sabha polls are expected. 

Coming soon after the Supreme Court’s decision to reserve its verdict on the electoral bond scheme, the upcoming sale of these bonds at all authorised branches of the State Bank of India stems from amendments made to the scheme by the Centre in November 2022. 

The upcoming 29th tranche of electoral bond sales since the scheme’s launch in January 2018 to “cleanse the system of political funding” in the country, follows a 10-day window for selling these bonds that closed on October 13. 

The original scheme envisaged sales of electoral bonds for 10 days each in January, April, July and October every year, and a thirty-day period during the year of the Lok Sabha polls. 

The legality of the electoral bonds scheme | Explained 

Last year, the government expanded its ambit to grant itself the power to announce an extra fortnight of electoral bond sales in years where States and Union Territories with legislatures have elections. That power was first exercised ahead of the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh assembly polls late last year. 

Individuals can buy electoral bonds on their own or along with others, and remit them to registered political parties with at least one percent vote share in the Lok Sabha or Vidhan Sabha elections. The bonds are valid for 15 calendar days from the date of issuance.

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