Electoral Bond Scheme 2018


What is Important?
UPSC perspective:
Prelims:Objectives
Mains:Objectives & Significance


Why in News?

The State Bank of India in the sixth phase of sale has been authorised to issue and encash Electoral Bonds through its 29 Authorised Branches.

Electoral Bond Scheme 2018

*Government of India has notified the Electoral Bond Scheme 2018 vide Gazette Notification No. 20 dated 02nd January 2018.
* Electoral Bonds may be purchased by a person, who is a citizen of India or incorporated or established in India.
*A person being an individual can buy Electoral Bonds, either singly or jointly with other individuals.
*Only the Political Parties registered under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (43 of 1951) and which secured not less than one per cent of the votes polled in the last General Election to the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly of the State, shall be eligible to receive the Electoral Bonds.
*The Electoral Bonds shall be encashed by an eligible Political Party only through a Bank account with the Authorized Bank
*It may be noted that Electoral Bonds shall be valid for fifteen calendar days from the date of issue and no payment shall be made to any payee Political Party if the Electoral Bond is deposited after expiry of the validity period.
The Electoral Bond deposited by an eligible Political Party in its account shall be credited on the same day.

Significance

*The significant aspect of this scheme is that the bonds will remain valid for 15 days and shall not carry the donor’s name, although the payee will have to fulfil KYC (know your customer) protocols at the bank.
*To benefit from the electoral bonds scheme, the political parties must have been registered with the Election Commission and should have secured not less than 1 per cent of the votes polled in the most recent General Election to the Lok Sabha or a State legislative assembly. This can be seen as a measure for pushing out the non serious candidates.
*The bonds can be encashed by an eligible political party only through a designated bank account with an authorised bank. Every political party has to submit details of one designated account to the Election Commission and the bonds can be encashed only in that account.
*It is good step in so far as moving away from dubious cash given to political parties to moving to electoral bonds. The returns will have to be filed by the political parties through these bonds and therefore it is meant to be transparent, accountable and a small step towards electoral reforms.
*The first three parliamentary elections were held free and fair without any questions being raised, whereas from 4th elections doubts were raised about booth capturing, use of muscle and money power increasing in the election system. Now the magnitude and scale is humongous. These problems have to be addressed. There are number of reports on it, but very little action has been taken. The electoral bonds are a move taken by the government which is a small step in the right direction.
*Many electoral reforms have taken place over the decades like today the candidates have to declare their assets, reducing the age of voting to 18 which is a revolutionary step as the youngsters are increasingly determining the outcome of elections. So even if there are pros and cons in the electoral bonds, it is a step in the right direction. Anything that makes the system more transparent, accountable, open, democratic in spirit must be welcomed and later any issues and problems arising out of it must be addressed.



Electoral Bond Scheme 2018 Electoral Bond Scheme 2018 Reviewed by The Hindu Current Affairs on October 29, 2018 Rating: 5

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