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Government approves 27th tranche of electoral bonds; sale from Monday

The government on Friday approved the issuance of the 27th tranche of electoral bonds that will open for sale on July 3. The decision comes ahead of assembly elections of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram. Poll dates are likely to be announced in a couple of months.

Electoral bonds have been pitched as an alternative to cash donations made to political parties as part of efforts to bring transparency to political funding.

State Bank of India (SBI), in the 27th phase of sale, has been authorised to issue and encash electoral bonds through 29 authorised branches from July 3-12, the finance ministry said in a statement.

The sale of the first batch of electoral bonds happened on March 1-10, 2018.

The authorised SBI branches include those in Bengaluru, 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. An electoral bond will be valid for 15 days from the date of issuance. No payment will be made to any political party if the bond is deposited after the 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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