A total of 11,782 electoral bonds are purchased amounting to a total of ₹ 5896.7 crores till July 2019. More than 80% of these bonds were redeemed in Delhi alone.
The Electoral Bond scheme were first announced in the 2017-18 budget and the scheme was subsequently notified in January 2018. Factly had earlier written about the bonds, their impact on transparency, what’s wrong with these bonds among other things.
Since March 2018 (the first phase), there have been 11 phases (till July 2019) when the bonds were available for purchase. Factly has obtained data on the number & quantum of bonds purchased in all these 11 phases. Here are some of the highlights of the 11 phases between March 2018 and July 2019.
- The bonds were available for purchases in 11 phases from March 2018 to July 2019.
- The bonds were on sale for a total of 118 days during these 11 phases; 5 days in May 2019, 9 days each in 2 phases, 10 days each in 6 phases, 15 days in March 2019 and the longest phase of 20 days in April 2019.
- A total of 11,782 electoral bonds were purchased in these 118 days amounting to a total of ₹ 5896.7 crores. This amount is more than 4 times the combined total declared income of the 7 national parties in 2017-18.
- An average of around 100 bonds were purchased per day of sale amounting to an average worth of ₹ 49.98 crores per day.
- Most bonds in terms of value were purchased in April 2019, the longest sale cycle, when bonds amounting to ₹ 2256.4 crores were purchased.
- The two recent phases of sale (March & April 2019) accounted for a whopping 62% or ₹3622.1 crores of the total value of electoral bonds purchased till date.
- A total of 140 electoral bonds amounting to ₹ 20.25 crores were not encashed by anyone and they would have been deposited in the Prime Minister Relief Fund as per rules.
More than ₹ 100 crores worth bonds purchased in 9 of the 11 phases
In the 11 phases till July 2019, bonds worth more than ₹ 100 crores each were purchased in 9 of the 11 phases. Bonds worth more than ₹ 250 crores each were purchased in 5 of the 11 phases while bonds worth more than ₹ 500 crores each were purchased in 3 of the 11 phases, all during the general elections to the Lok Sabha.
In 3 of the 11 phases, each and every bond purchased was redeemed. In all the 11 phases, a total of 140 bonds worth ₹ 20.25 crores were not redeemed and as per rules, they were deposited in the PMNRF. In May 2018, bonds worth ₹ 10 crores were not redeemed followed by more than ₹ 5 crores in April 2019 and more than ₹ 3 crores in May 2019. It also looks like the Government condoned the delay in certain cases because as per data received from SBI earlier, bonds worth more than ₹ 30 crores were not redeemed by the end of the first 10 phases.
More than 80% of the bonds redeemed in Delhi alone
Till July 2019, electoral bonds were purchased in a total of 16 cities. Bonds worth more than ₹ 10 crores each were purchased in a total of 12 cities and bonds worth more than ₹ 100 crores each in 8 of the 16 cities. In only 4 of these 16 cities, bonds worth more than ₹ 500 crores each were purchased. These four cities of Mumbai, Kolkata, New Delhi & Hyderabad accounted for a total of 82.7% of all the bonds purchased by value.
When it comes to redemption of bonds, the trend is completely different. Only in Delhi, bonds worth more than ₹ 4731 crores were redeemed, which is a whopping 80.5% of all the redeemed bonds. The next best is Hyderabad where 8.7% of the total bonds were redeemed. More than 1% of the value of the bonds were redeemed in only each of the three other cities of Kolkata, Mumbai & Bhubaneshwar.
National Parties, the principal beneficiaries
As per the guidelines of the scheme, no political party can have more than one current account in SBI for the redemption of these bonds. So it is natural that the national parties maintain such a current account in Delhi while the regional parties in the respective state capitals. So in other words, it is quite possible that all of the bonds redeemed in Delhi would have gone to the national parties.
BJP & Congress both submit details after the Supreme Court due date
The Supreme Court (SC) had in April 2019 passed interim directions on the issue of ‘Electoral Bonds’ and mandated political parties to disclose in a sealed cover to the Election Commission of India (ECI), the names of donors of these bonds by 30 May 2019. (Watch this video to learn more about the Political Funding in India).
As per data furnished by the ECI in response to an application under RTI, both the BJP & Congress submitted details of the donors of electoral bonds after the due date of 30 May 2019. Of the 7 national parties, the Trinamool Congress, BSP, CPI & NCP submitted the details before the due date while BJP, Congress & the CPI(M) submitted after the due date.
A total of 19 state parties submitted the electoral bond donor details to the ECI as on date. Below are the details of submission.
|Names of State Parties||Submission Status|
|TRS, TDP, Shiv Sena, JD(S), RJD, SP, AAP||Submitted before due date|
|GFP, JD(U), JVM(P), MNF, MPCP, BJD, SAD, AINRC, SDF, AIADMK, IUML, DMDK||Submitted after due date|
In addition, around 64 registered but unrecognized parties also submitted the electoral bond donor details to the ECI.