The government has notified the 11th phase of the sale of electoral bonds in the first 10 days of July, 2019. Data from the first 10 phases indicates that electoral bonds worth ₹ 4715 Crores or 81% of the total bonds encashed so far were encashed in New Delhi.
The Supreme Court (SC) will continue to hear the electoral bonds case after the summer vacation. Before the vacation, the court had passed interim directions on the issue of ‘Electoral Bonds’ which mandated political parties to disclose in a sealed cover to the Election Commission of India (ECI), the names of donors of these bonds by 30th May, 2018. Data from the 10 cycles of the sale of electoral bonds clearly indicates that the national parties may be garnering a greater share of these bonds than the regional ones.
The Story so far – 10 Cycles, 108 days and ₹ 5851 crores
The government has recently notified the 11th phase of the sale of electoral bonds that will take place from the 01st to 10th July 2019. Here are some of the highlights of the first 10 phases between March 2018 and May 2019.
- The bonds were on sale in 10 phases from March 2018 to May 2019.
- The bonds were on sale for a total of 108 days during these 10 phases; 5 days in May 2019, 9 days each in 2 phases, 10 days each in 5 phases, 15 days in March 2019 and the longest phase of 20 days in April 2019.
- A total of 11,681 electoral bonds were purchased in these 108 days amounting to a total of ₹ 5851.4 crores.
- An average of 108 bonds were purchased per day of sale amounting to an average worth of ₹ 54.2 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 233 electoral bonds amounting to ₹ 31,09,32,000 were not encashed by anyone and they would have been deposited in the Prime Minister Relief Fund as per rules.
More than 82% of the bonds purchased from these 4 Cities
Electoral bonds were purchased from a total of 16 branches of SBI in 16 different states till date. The bonds were purchased in each & every phase only in New Delhi & Mumbai. In Kolkata, they were purchased in 9 out of the 10 phases. In 9 of these 16 cities, bonds were purchased in at most 5 phases. In Visakhapatnam, Thiruvananthapuram & Lucknow, they were purchased only in one phase each.
In terms of the bonds purchased, the four cities of Mumbai, Kolkata, New Delhi & Hyderabad accounted for more than 82% of the bonds purchased till date. These are the only four cities from where bonds worth more than ₹ 500 crores & 10% of the total value each were purchased. More than 30% of the bonds were purchased from Mumbai, which is bonds worth ₹ 1782 crores, the highest for any city. Kolkata is the only other city where bonds worth more than ₹ 1000 crores were purchased.
More than 81% of the bonds encashed in New Delhi alone, benefiting National parties
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.
As per the latest data, bonds worth a total of ₹ 4716 crores were encashed in New Delhi alone. This is more than 81% of the total amount encashed across the country. It is amply clear that national parties are the principal beneficiaries of the electoral bond scheme.
Except in Hyderabad, where more than ₹ 500 crores (8.8%) were encashed, substantial amounts weren’t encashed in any of the other states where major regional parties are based.
|City (State)||Amount Encashed in ₹ crores|
(% of Electoral bonds encashed)
|Major Parties in the state (Other than BJP & Congress)|
|Chennai (Tamil Nadu)||51.11 (0.89%)||DMK, AIADMK|
|Kolkata (West Bengal)||167.5 (2.88%)||TMC, CPI(M)|
|Mumbai (Maharashtra)||121.1 (2.08%)||Shiv Sena, NCP|
|Bangalore (Karnataka)||1.5 (0.03%)||JD (S)|
|Bhubaneshwar (Odisha)||226.5 (3.89%)||BJD|
|Chandigarh||6.76 (0.12%)||Akali Dal|
|Hyderabad (Telangana)||512.3 (8.8%)||TRS|
|Patna (Bihar)||15.5 (0.27%)||JD (U), RJD|
Going by the past data of 2017-18, the national parties, especially the BJP could have been the biggest beneficiary of electoral bonds.
99.74% of the bonds purchased in the denomination of ₹ 10 lakh & ₹ 1 Crore
Of the ₹ 5851 crores worth electoral bonds purchased in the 10 phases till May 2019, bonds in the denomination of ₹ 1 crore accounted for 91.74% or ₹ 5368 crores. Further, bonds in the denomination of ₹ 10 lakh accounted for 8% or ₹ 468.1 crores Together, bonds in the denomination of ₹ 10 lakh & ₹ 1 crore accounted for 99.74% of all the bonds purchased so far, reinforcing the belief that it is majorly corporates which are purchasing these bonds.