Hyderabad: The State Bank of India in an RTI query stated that its Hyderabad branch received the highest number of electoral bond sales.
According to this Indian Express article, the SBI Hyderabad branch received a sale of 33 percent of electoral bonds. In other words, the branch sold electoral bonds worth Rs 377.63 crore.
After Hyderabad, Kolkata received Rs 255.28 crore, Mumbai Rs 177.90 crore, New Delhi Rs 130.68 crore and Chennai Rs 95.50 crore.
However, when it came to encashing the bonds, the Hyderabad branch received just Rs 83.63 crore. the highest was New Delhi with Rs 800 crore, Kolkata Rs 171.28 crore, Mumbai Rs 39 crore and Patna 25 crore.
Recently, the Central government argued with the Supreme Court that citizens have no right to information under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution regarding the source of funds.
“The scheme in question extends the benefit of confidentiality to the contributor. It ensures and promotes clean money being contributed. It ensures abiding by tax obligations. Thus, it does not fall foul of any existing right,” Attorney General R Venkataramani told the apex court.
Electoral Bonds Scheme: Citizens don’t have right to know source of funds, says AG
What are electoral bonds?
Electoral bonds allow individuals or organisation to donate money to political parties. The transaction is mostly private and secure. An individual or organisation can purchase bonds from a bank and give them to their political party. The political party can encash these bonds to receive the donated money.
The electoral bonds should be used within a specific time frame. Every bank offers a different validity period. These bonds are available in denominations of Rs 1,000, Rs 10,000, Rs 1 lakh, Rs 10 lakh and Rs 1 crore each. The largest denomination is the most popular.