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Centre Notifies The Electoral Bond Scheme To "Cleanse" Political Funding [Read Notification]

Apoorva Mandhani
4 Jan 2018 11:42 AM GMT
Centre Notifies The Electoral Bond Scheme To "Cleanse" Political Funding [Read Notification]
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The Centre, on Tuesday, notified the Electoral Bond Scheme, in a bid to "cleanse the system of political funding in the country".

The intention to introduce electoral bonds was communicated by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Budget speech on February 2 last year. Notified after a period of 11 months since then, the salient features of the scheme are:

  • The Electoral Bond would be a bearer instrument in the nature of a Promissory Note and an interest free banking instrument capable of being purchased by an Indian citizen or a body incorporated in India.

  • The Bonds shall be issued in the denomination of Rs. 1000, Rs. 10,000, Rs. 1,00,000, Rs. 10,00,000 and Rs. 1,00,00,000 from specified branches of the State Bank of India (SBI).

  • The Bonds can be bought only after fulfilling all the existing Know Your Customer (KYC) norms. The Bonds would, however, not carry the name of the payee.

  • Payments for issuance of bonds shall be accepted in Indian rupees, through demand draft, cheque, Electronic Clearing System or direct debit to the buyer’s account.

  • The Bonds would be available for purchase for a period of 10 days each in the months of January, April, July and October. An additional period of 30 days shall be specified by the Central Government in the year of general elections to the House of People.

  • The Bonds would have a life of 15 days, during which they can be used for making donations only to political parties registered under Section 29A of the Representation of the Peoples Act, 1951.

  • Only those political parties will be eligible for donations through electoral bonds which “secured not less than one per cent of the votes polled in the last general election to the House of the People or a legislative assembly”.

  • For tax purposes, the face value of the bonds shall be counted as income by way of voluntary contributions received by an eligible political party, for the purpose of exemption from Income-tax under Section 13A of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

Read The Notification

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