Electoral Bonds Usage in India, Worth Rs 232 Crore Sold in 24th Phase

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Electoral bonds worth a total of Rs 232.10 crore ($32 million) were sold in December and all of them were cashed by political parties. Between October and December, electoral bonds worth a total of Rs 1,450.61 crore ($201 million) were sold in three tranches.

The bonds that were not cashed, worth approximately Rs 23.59 crore ($3.2 million), were transferred to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund. Since the introduction of electoral bonds in 2018, there have been 24 phases of sales, during which bonds worth a total of Rs 11,699.83 crore ($1.6 billion) have been sold. Of the 260 bonds sold in the latest phase, 88.07% (229) were worth Rs one crore ($137,000) each and the rest were worth Rs 10 lakh ($13,700) each. The highest number of bonds were sold at the Mumbai branch of the State Bank of India (SBI), worth Rs 114 crore ($15.6 million), followed by the Hyderabad branch at Rs 56 crore ($7.7 million). The bonds were also sold in Chennai (Rs 30 crore/$4.1 million), New Delhi (Rs 16.10 crore/$2.2 million), and Kolkata (Rs 16 crore/$2.2 million). Delhi had the highest number of cashed bonds at Rs 194.10 crore ($26.6 million), followed by Hyderabad at Rs 21 crore ($2.9 million) and Kolkata at Rs 17 crore ($2.3 million). So far, 25 political parties have opened accounts at SBI branches to cash their electoral bonds, according to the bank. The SBI has requested that the Ministry of Finance release its pending commission of Rs 67.74 crore ($9.3 million), including GST, for the 20th phase of bond sales. In 2019-20, four national parties (BJP, Congress, Trinamool Congress, and NCP) and 14 regional parties received a total of Rs 3,441.31 crore ($471 million) through electoral bonds, according to the Association for Democratic Reforms. Of this total, 62.92% (Rs 2,993.82 crore/$410 million) came from donations through electoral bonds for the four national parties. The BJP’s income increased by 50.34% to Rs 3,623.28 crore ($494 million) in 2019-20, with the majority coming from the redemption of electoral bonds. The other three national parties (CPI(M), CPI, and BSP) did not receive any donations through electoral bonds.

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