Ahead of assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, the government on Monday approved issuance of the 23rd tranche of electoral bonds that will open for sale on November 9.
The Gujarat assembly elections will be held in two phases on December 1 and 5, while Himachal Pradesh will go to polls on November 12.
Electoral bonds have been pitched as an alternative to cash donations made to political parties as part of efforts to bring transparency in political funding.
State Bank of India (SBI), in the 23rd phase of sale, has been authorised to issue and encash electoral bonds through 29 authorised branches from November 9-15, the finance ministry said in a statement.
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Usually, electoral bond tranches are open for sale between 1-10 of a designated month. For instance, the 22nd tranche of bond sales took place from October 1-10, 2022 while 21st tranche was from July 1-10, 2022.
Sale of the first batch of electoral bonds happened from March 1-10, 2018.
The authorised SBI branches include those in Lucknow, Shimla, Dehradun, Kolkata, Guwahati, Chennai, Patna, New Delhi, Chandigarh, Srinagar, Gandhinagar, Bhopal, Raipur, and Mumbai.
SBI is the only authorised bank to issue electoral bonds.
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An electoral bond will be valid for 15 days from the date of issuance. No payment would be made to any political party if the bond is deposited after expiry of the validity period, the statement said.
Electoral bonds can be purchased by Indian citizens or entities incorporated or established in the country.
Registered political parties that have secured not less than 1 per cent of the votes polled in the last Lok Sabha or legislative assembly election are eligible to receive funding through electoral bonds.
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