Rs 1 cr grants made up 91% electoral bonds: Report

Rs 1 cr grants made up 91% electoral bonds: Report

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Electoral bonds with the highest denomination of Rs 1 crore accounted for more than 91 per cent of the Rs 5,896 crore raised in the first 11 phases sold by select State Bank of India branches between March 1, 2018, and July 24, 2019, according to an Indian Express report.

As per RTI data obtained by transparency activist Commodore Lokesh Batra (Retd) under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the daily reported that  99.7% of the total bonds in the first 11 phases were the ones of the highest value - Rs 1 crore and Rs 10 lakh.  

In all, 11,782 bonds were sold, with 5,409 of them in the Rs 1 crore denomination and 4,723 in the Rs 10 lakh denomination, said the report.

Bonds worth only Rs 15.06 crore were in the denominations of Rs 1,000, Rs 10,000 and Rs 1 lakh, as per the RTI data.

As a large margin of the bonds denominated were of high value, there's an indication that almost the entire money came from the wealthiest section of the society, the report said.

The data compiled by the Association for Democratic Reforms also points out that 95% of the money gathered by the first tranche of such bonds had gone to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. 

Until now, bonds worth more than Rs 6,000 crore have been sold in 12 tranches.

The SBI branches in Mumbai, Kolkata, New Delhi and Hyderabad collectively accounted for 83 per cent, i.e. bonds worth Rs 5,085 crore of the total Rs 6,128.72 crore, the RTI documents stated.

Almost 99.6% of these bonds, i.e. Rs 6,108.47 crore has been encashed, 80 per cent of which were encashed in New Delhi.

The rest - Rs 20.25 crore - has been deposited in the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund, according to the data.