Ahead of the Karnataka assembly elections, the government on Friday approved the issuance of the 26th tranche of electoral bonds that will open for sale on April 3.
Karnataka will for for polls on May 10. Votes, as per the Election Commission schedule, will be counted on May 13.
Electoral bonds have been pitched as an alternative to cash donations made to political parties as part of efforts to bring transparency in political funding.
State Bank of India (SBI), in the 26th phase of sale, has been authorised to issue and encash electoral bonds through 29 authorised branches from April 3-12, the finance ministry said in a statement.
The last phase of electoral bonds (25th tranche) was open for subscription between January 19 and 28, 2023.
Usually, electoral bond tranches are open for sale between 1-10 of a designated month. However, the 25th did not follow this order.
Sale of the first batch of electoral bonds happened from March 1-10, 2018.
The authorised SBI branches include those in Bengaluru, Lucknow, Shimla, Dehradun, Kolkata, Guwahati, Chennai, Patna, New Delhi, Chandigarh, Srinagar, Gandhinagar, Bhopal, Raipur, and Mumbai.
SBI is the only authorised bank to issue electoral bonds.
An electoral bond will be valid for 15 days from the date of issuance. No payment would be made to any political party if the bond is deposited after expiry of the validity period, the statement said.
Electoral bonds can be purchased by Indian citizens or entities incorporated or established in the country.
Registered political parties that have secured not less than 1 per cent of the votes polled in the last Lok Sabha or legislative assembly election are eligible to receive funding through electoral bonds.