New Delhi, Jan 2: In a bid to bring transparency in political funding, the government on Tuesday notified a scheme of electoral bonds.
Announcing the launch of the scheme in Parliament, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the electoral bonds will bring transparency in political donations against the contemporary system of such contributions.
The electoral bonds will be a bearer instrument in the nature of a promissory note and interest-free banking instrument which any individual or a corporate body will be eligible to purchase.
The State Bank of India will issue the bonds in multiples of Rs 1,000, Rs 10,000, Rs 1 lakh, Rs 10 lakh and Rs 1 crore.
“The element of transparency is that the donors who buy these bonds, their balance sheets will reflect they bought these bonds. Political parties will file their returns to the Election Commission and collectively also say this is the extent of bonds we have received”
“Therefore, this will be cleaner money coming from the donor, cleaner money coming into the hands of a political party and there would be a significant amount of transparency,” said the Finance minister.
Jaitley stated there was no transparency when cash is given as the “source of money is not known, the donor is not known, where it is spent is not known” and that electoral bonds will bring “substantial amount of transparency as against the present system of unclean money and no transparency”.
The centre’s decisions to sharply cut the cash donation a political party can receive and to introduce “electoral bonds” had been announced in the union budget this year.
He said to change the system of anonymous donations, the government brought a change in 2001 which made all
The bonds under the scheme 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 Centre.
An additional period of 30 days shall be specified by the Central government in the year of Lok Sabha polls.