Electoral bonds worth Rs 277 crore have been sold since the General Elections this year, non-governmental organisation Association for Democratic Reforms said on Friday. The worth of electoral bonds sold so far since March 2018 has reached Rs 6,128 crore by October, the organisation said.

Electoral bonds are monetary instruments that citizens or corporate groups can buy from the State Bank of India and give to a political party, which is then free to redeem them for money. These bonds are anonymous. The scheme was introduced in January 2018.

State Bank of India had earlier said that it sold electoral bonds worth Rs 3,622 crore in March and April 2019. The month of April, during which Rs 2,256 crore worth of electoral bonds were sold ahead of the elections, remains the period with the highest sale. In January and March, electoral bonds worth Rs 1,716.05 crore were sold, as compared to Rs 1,056.73 crore issued in six rounds in all of 2018.

In May, electoral bonds worth Rs 822 crore were sold, followed by Rs 45 crore in July and Rs 232 crore in October, according to ADR’s data.

In April, a Right to Information query had revealed that 99.8% of donations that political parties received through electoral bonds between March 2018 and January 24, 2019, were of the highest denominations – Rs 10 lakh and Rs 1 crore.

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