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Electoral Bonds : Latest News And Current Affairs

Electoral Bonds : Latest News And Current Affairs
Electoral Bonds


The Issue :-

Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) is a 20 years old organisation which is awarded many times for there works like voters awareness and Democratic reforms.


Now, the issue is that recently ADR gone to supreme court and questioned the anonymity based funding scheme on the grounds that it promotes opacity, and also opens up the possibility of black money being donated to Parties through shell companies and empowers the ruling party, that is alone in a position to identify the donors and this may lead to the wrong practices of to discourage donations to other Parties.


What Election Commission of India Said

The Election commission of India has made the following observations:-

That they said that  Electoral bonds, contrary to government claims, wreck transparency in political funding . And they also said that the Electoral Bonds coupled with the removal of the Cap on foreign funding invites foreign corporate powers to impact Indian Politics.


Electoral Bonds

The idea of Electoral Bonds was introduced first time in the union budget 2017. And then upto January 2018 Finance Minister "Arun Jaitley" announced all the guidelines related to electoral bonds in the Lok Sabha.


Changes that were made

Electoral Bonds were introduced by many "Amendment" made through  the "Finance Act 2017" to the "Reserve Bank of India Act 1934", "Representation of Peoples Act 1951"," Income Tax Act 1961", and companies Act.


Notes Regarding Electoral Bonds

So, Before the budget of 2017, there was a rule that if a Political Party gets a donation of less than Rs. 20,000 from a donor, then it was not mandatory to reveal the source of fund.

But this rule was misused by Political Parties and so it is said that near about all the Political Parties received 90% of their Political Fund in the denomination of less than Rs.20,000. So, in this way a huge amount of Black money generated and used in the election campaigning.


Therefore all these problems were solved by introducing the Electoral Bonds.

So, on the basis of the recommendation of the Election commission, the government had reduced the limit of anonymous donation to Rs. 2000 only in budget 2017.


It means that for a donation of more than Rs. 2,000 the Political Party will have to reveal the source of donation. And so, electoral bonds will be used here.



Elections Bond Definition

Here, Electoral Bond refers to a bond which has its specified face value mentioned on it like a currency note. These bonds can be used by the individuals, institutions and organisations to donate money to the Political parties.


These electoral bonds will be available in the denomination of Rs. 1,000, Rs.10,000, Rs 1 lakh , Rs. 10 lakhs and Rs. 1 crore.


The Donation Can only be made to :-

So, Those Party which is registered under section 29 A of the representation of the peoples act, `1951 and has secured at least 1% votes Polled in the most recent Lok Sabha or State Election will be eligible to receive fund through electoral bonds.


Notes

1) Name of electoral bonds purchase will be kept confidential by the banks.

2) Electoral Bonds will be valid for 15 days from the date of Purchase.

3) The bonds will be available for Purchase for a Period of 10 days each in the beginning of every quarter. In the year of Lok Sabha elections, and 30 days extra will be provided.

4) Bonds can be purchased in January, April, July and October months of each year.


Who can Purchase Electoral Bonds ?

The Electoral bonds under this Scheme may be Purchased by a person, who is a citizen of  India or Incorporated or Established in India.



Rules for the Donating Company 

Any Company which is not a Government Company as Per the Provision of the Companies ACT, and has been in existence for at least "3 years" may contribute any amount directly or indirectly to any Political Party, i.e , eligible Company.


Concerns

The concerns is that the ruling party is getting all the controls over knowing the donor name. That Donor Bank and the receiver bank know the identity of the Person. But both the banks reports to the RBI which, in turn, is subject to the central governments will to know.


What Supreme Court said

Supreme Court allows Electoral Bonds but with riders, Supreme Court orders all Political Parties to disclose to Electoral Commission details of every donation they receive via electoral bonds till 15 May.


Election Commission had stated that it will support the electoral bond scheme only if the donor's name is revealed.




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