What are Electoral Bonds?
Electoral Bonds are bearer banking instruments that can be used to donate to political parties. One can read this Factly article to understand in detail about the electoral bond system. The biggest issue with electoral bonds is the anonymity. Except the banking system (SBI), hence the government, the donor & the political party, nobody else would know the identity of the donor.
Bonds purchased in March & April 2019 are 2.5 times the amount purchased in earlier phases
Electoral Bonds have been on sale for 9 phases since their introduction. A total of ₹ 1407 crores worth electoral bonds were purchased during the first 7 phases. In contrast, a total of ₹ 3622 crores worth bonds were purchased in just March & April 2019 as per the data shared by SBI in response to an application under RTI. In other words, bonds purchased in March & April 2019 are 2.5 times the amount of bonds purchased in the first seven phases.
Four branches account for more than 80% of the bonds purchased in March & April 2019
Of the electoral bonds purchased in March & April 2019 across various branches of SBI, the four branches of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata & Hyderabad accounted for 81.28% or ₹ 2944 crores worth bonds. The remaining 12 branches (where bonds were purchased) accounted for 18.72% or ₹ 678 crores worth bonds.
99.7% of the bonds purchased in the denomination of ₹ 10 lakh & ₹ 1 Crore
Together in all the 9 cycles till April 2019, bonds worth a total of ₹ 5029 crores were purchased. Out of these, bonds in the denomination of ₹ 1 crore accounted for 91.07% or ₹ 4580 crores. Further, bonds in the denomination of ₹ 10 lakh accounted for 8.63% or ₹ 434.2 crores Together, bonds in the denomination of ₹ 10 lakh & ₹ 1 crore accounted for 99.7% of all the bonds purchased so far, reinforcing the belief that only corporates are purchasing the bonds.