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Govt Accepts Electoral Bonds Have Serial Numbers, But Says It's Not Made Public

The electoral bond scheme was announced by the government during the 2017 Budget with an aim to keep an account of donations that every political party receives.

Aishwarya Kumar | News18.com@aishwaryak03

Updated:April 17, 2018, 5:28 PM IST
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Govt Accepts Electoral Bonds Have Serial Numbers, But Says It's Not Made Public
Representative photo (Reuters)
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New Delhi: Just days after it was revealed that electoral bonds carried a serial number invisible to the naked eye, the central government on Tuesday confirmed that there were in built security features in the bonds, but that those features were not accessible to anybody, including the government.

The Quint reported that the hidden serial numbers on the electoral bonds were present to track down the link between donors and political parties.

The government, however, has quashed the allegations and said that the Random Serial Number present on the bonds were not linked to any party transaction nor could they be used for tracking the transactions. It also added that the State Bank of India does not share the serial number with anybody, including the government and users.

“The purchaser is allowed to buy electoral bond (s) only on due fulfillment of all the extant KYC norms and by making payment from a bank account. The bond does not carry the name of payee or any other details by which the buyer can be identified. Likewise no detail of political party depositing the bonds is noted on the electoral bonds. Thus, any particular bond cannot be identified or associated with any particular buyer or political party deposit,” the statement read, further stating that the security features were present to “eliminate chances of forgery or presentation of fake bonds".

“This number is not noted by the SBI in any record associated with buyer or political party depositing a particular electoral bond. It is, thus, not linked to any party transaction when the bank issues a bond to the buyer. As such the number is not being used or can be used to track the donation or the buyer,” the government said.

An electoral bond, issued in multiples of Rs 1000, Rs 10,000, Rs 1 lakh, Rs 10 lakh and Rs 1 crore, is available at special branches at the State Bank of India. The bond is a bearer instrument similar to the promissory note and people can donate the bonds to their party of choice which can then be cashed in by the respective political party within two weeks’ time.

The electoral bond scheme was announced by the government during the 2017 Budget with an aim to keep an account of donations that every political party receives.


| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi
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