The Centre notified on Tuesday detailed norms for the use of electoral bonds for the funding of political parties. Donors can buy electoral bonds 40 days a year from specified branches of State Bank of India and then use it within two weeks to donate to a political party, according to a government release.
Earlier in the day, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced the details of the electoral bonds scheme in the Lok Sabha.
Jaitley had first introduced the concept of electoral bonds in his Union Budget speech in February 2017. He had said the measure would bring “greater transparency and accountability” in political funding.
Norms for the use of electoral bonds
- Electoral bonds will be interest-free debt instruments like promissory notes, which Indian citizens and organisations can buy from certain SBI branches. The bond will not have the name of the donor.
- One can buy electoral bonds in multiples of Rs 1,000, Rs 10,000, Rs 1 lakh, Rs 10 lakh or Rs 1 crore.
- Bonds will have a life of only 15 days after being bought. Political parties that are registered under the Representation of People Act and got at least 1% votes in the last general or Assembly elections are eligible to receive donations through electoral bonds.
- The bonds can be purchased for 10 days each in January, April, July and October. In years when general elections are scheduled, the bonds will be available for an additional 30 days.