Of all the electoral bonds (EBs) ever sold since their debut sale in 2018, 85 percent have been in denominations of Rs 10 lakh or Rs 1 crore, RTI responses by the central government and State Bank of India reveal.
Only the remaining 15 percent of electoral bonds sold were in smaller denominations of Rs 1000, Rs 10,000 or Rs 1 lakh.
What's more, of the total amount worth of electoral bonds sold so far in India, 92.6 percent amount is in bonds of Rs 1 crore. As little as 0.0001 percent of the total amount worth of electoral bonds sold were in denominations of Rs 1000, 0.0015 percent in bonds of Rs 10,000 and 0.2695 percent in bonds of Rs 1 lakh.
The Name's Bond, Rs 1 Crore Bond
Here are some of the key data points that emerge from the official data on electoral bonds.
These details emerged after crunching the data provided in RTI responses by the Department of Economic Affairs of the central government, and by the State Bank of India, the public sector bank which has been authorised to sell electoral bonds during the 18 phases of sale of EBs so far.
The RTI applications had been filed by transparency campaigner and Indian Navy veteran Commodore Lokesh Batra, and the responses to them have been accessed by The Quint.
The fact that 85 percent of the total number of electoral bonds sold have been in denominations of Rs 10 lakh or Rs 1 crore show that these bonds have mostly been purchased by the very wealthy.
Since 2018, A Total Sale of Rs 7,994 Crore in Electoral Bonds
Electoral bonds are interest-free bearer instruments used to donate money anonymously to political parties. Transparency activists who have opposed the idea of electoral bonds ever since they were proposed, contend that the transfer of the bonds is not really anonymous.
For example, the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), which had moved the Supreme Court against electoral bonds, argues, "The said anonymity does not apply to the government of the day, which can always access the donor details by demanding the data from the State Bank of India (SBI)."
Since 2018, here is the total amount worth of electoral bonds which have been sold and the total amount which has been encashed by political parties.
In case you're wondering what happened to the balance amount, the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund gets the money that accumulates from non-encashed electoral bonds. So far, that amount totals to around 20 crore rupees.
Where Were Most Electoral Bonds Bought? And Where Were Most of Them Sold?
Even though the highest amount worth of electoral bonds were sold in Mumbai (27 percent of the total amount sold), it is the national capital of Delhi where an overwhelming majority of the total amount worth of electoral bonds was encashed.
As much as 69 percent of the total amount was encashed in Delhi.