In a significant notification ahead of the Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Punjab, Manipur and Uttarakhand scheduled early next year, the Finance Ministry said on Thursday that the State Bank of India (SBI) has been assigned to issue and encash electoral bonds through its 29 authorised branches from January 1-10 next year.
The electoral bonds shall be valid for 15 calendar days from the date of issue and no payment shall be made to any payee political party if the bond is deposited after the expiry of the validity period, according to an official statement.
“The electoral bond deposited by an eligible political party in its account shall be credited on the same day,” it read.
The Centre had notified the Electoral Bond Scheme in 2018.
As per the provisions of the scheme, electoral bonds may be purchased by a person who is a citizen of India or incorporated or established in India. A person being an individual can buy electoral bonds, either singly or jointly with other individuals.
“Only the political parties registered under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (43 of 1951) and which secured not less than 1 per cent of the votes polled in the last general elections to the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly of the state, shall be eligible to receive the electoral bonds,” the Finance Ministry statement said.
The electoral bonds shall be encashed by an eligible political party only through a bank account with the authorised bank.