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Electoral bonds worth Rs 5,029 cr issued till May 4 Sole authorised issuer SBI says 10,494 bonds given

May 16, 2019 06:23 AM

COURTESY MIRROR MAY 16

Electoral bonds worth Rs 5,029 cr issued till May 4
Sole authorised issuer SBI says 10,494 bonds given
#MUMBAI

At an average of Rs 48 lakh per bond, the State Bank of India (SBI) has issued 10,494 electoral bonds in nine phases so far, worth over Rs 5,029 crore, an RTI response has revealed.


SBI is the only commercial bank which has been authorised by the Centre to issue electoral bonds ever since it was envisaged last year.

In a response to Mumbai-based RTI activist Manoranjan Roy’s query on the total numbers of electoral bonds issued and the names of companies or individuals giving the donations, the bank said it has issued 10,494 bonds worth Rs 5,029 crore till phase nine which was completed on May 4.

The bank, however, did not disclose the names of companies or individuals giving donations to political parties citing it to be “third party” information which is exempted under Section 8(1)(E)(i) of the RTI Act.

Replying to another query on how many of the electoral bonds issued have been submitted for withdrawal, it replied that (out of 10,494 issued) 10,388 bonds have been withdrawn/ redeemed till the phase nine.

“The value of these redeemed bonds amounts to Rs 5,011 crore,” said Naresh Kumar Raheja, central public information officer and deputy general manager (TB sales & SME).

Roy alleged that augmentation of electoral bonds is a legalised route to “have an unholy nexus between political parties and corporate entities and it will lead to the highest level of corruption in the country”. “It can be little less destructive if this is made transparent by revealing the names of bond-seekers,” he said.

The Electoral Bond Scheme, 2018, notified by the Centre in January last year, has been challenged in the Supreme Court. The Association for Democratic Reforms, a voluntary group working in the field of electoral reforms, has demanded a stay on the sale of the bonds, while the CPI(M) has challenged it in separate petitions

 
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