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  • Category: Politics

    Let us discuss it here. The pros and cons of Electoral bonds.

    Dear All,
    In the year 2017, in the budget, the Finance Minister introduced Electoral bonds. The bond was issued mainly for the political parties to have their party fund from the donors. The bond is issued by State Bank of India. Anyone can buy the bond (Rs.1000, 10000, 1,00000, 1000000 &10000000), The identity of the buyer of the bond and party receiving the fund is not disclosed. Its validity is 15 days. If the bond is not deposited into any account of the political party within 15 days, the amount would be deposited into Prime Minister's relief fund by SBI.

    This point came up up for discussion in another thread that was irrelevant to that thread. Let us discuss the pros and cons of the Electoral fund, here. Does it affect the common man in anyway? I do not think any political party is against this funding. Only a few RTI activists and the EC are against this bond.
  • #745133
    What I feel that through the electoral bonds the govt wants to regulate the election funding in a most transparent manner and later it is accountable in the sense, as how many bonds issued is already having records with the SBI and where all it was distributed to be known at the time elections when mandatory filing from each party and candidate is made. Given this back drop the proposed electoral bonds are no way affecting the common man. But for the companies and individuals who want to donate the bonds, they are also cannot be approached by the seeking parties and thus the will of donating freely without asking as been bestowed to the respective party supporters. There has been huge spending for each elections and by doing this government would not have any objections for companies siding with one party or other.
    K Mohan @ Moga
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #745138
    The aim of these bonds is to eliminate the use of black money during the elections. Instead of donating cash to the political parties, if they start donating in the form of these bonds, the complete transaction of money will be through a bank only. The donor has to purchase these bonds in a bank by completing his KYC details. The bonds can be of any denominations that are mentioned by the author. The validity of this bond is 15 days only. The bond will not have any payee's name. So the purchaser can donate these bonds to any of the political parties depending on his wish and will. The political party has to encash the same within 10 days of receiving the same from the donor. By making all these operations through the bank the details of the money received by any political party will be known to the bank and from there to RBI. Hence the parties can't manipulate the funds and they have to show the correct expenditure and it should be within the limits as prescribed by the election commission. If this system is really implemented black money in elections will come down. But I really doubt how many people follow to give through these bonds.
    always confident

  • #745143
    The bond system introduced introduced by the Finance Minister in 2017 was to show the transparency of the money transaction of each party. Bonds are to be issued against the denominations as indicated by the author. There was no provision of disclosure of buyer's name and this could be a plan to mop up money from the unaccounted source but the ultimate beneficiaries were the parties only.
    To some extent, it was the indirect boon of the black money holders to utilise such money in the election campaign from each party. But such funds could be calculated exactly and hence there is a limit of expenditure from each party. Now let us talk in respect of its implementation part, if such a system is introduced sincerely, there would be a curb of the black money being utilised in the election fund. Even election expenses,too, will come down. However, there is a doubt how far public will donate money in favour of the parties.

  • #745144
    The issue of electoral bonds is before the Supreme Court of India.

    Political funding is a major source of corruption. The anonymity clause in the electoral bond system gives rise to the flow of black money in the electoral process and the political system. The Corporates donate money to the political parties for gain only.

    The electoral bond system introduced does not require the political parties to mention the names and addresses of the persons , Corporates, or the Shell companies, in the reports which the political parties have to submit to the Election Commission of India annually. There is no transparency in the finances of the political parties that receive donations.

    The information related to the electoral bonds is out of the purview of the Right to Information Act. The information is taboo to the taxpayers. Why the public is denied vital information as to which Corporates or individuals are donating and which political parties are getting the funding? It is obvious for a long that those who donate get an advantage in the policies.

    The anonymity clause helps the political parties to escape accountability to the people of the country. The secrecy of information regarding the details of donors is against the democratic spirit.

    The public may be in dark but the party in power is always in a position to know all the details like who donated and to which party.

    The cost of printing these electoral bonds and the commission charged by the State Bank of India are paid from the taxpayer's money by the government . The taxpayer bears the expenditure of all these bonds though he cannot get any information.

    The electoral bonds may help the flow of black money into the election system of the country. Since the sale of these bonds is allowed just before elections, this money may help to lead to violent campaigning as seen in West Bengal. The Supreme Court of India already pointed out that there is every possibility of this money being used for dangerous objectives.

    There was a 7.5% profit ceiling on the Corporates to donate. That ceiling was done with. The Corporates need not show this electoral bond donation in their profit and loss statements which makes things difficult for Income tax and other departments. The condition that a company must be at least three years old and should be making profits is also done with.

    The Reserve Bank of India, the Election Commission of India, the Law Ministry, and some of the Parliament members raised objections and warned the government that there is every chance of black money circulation. All these objections and warnings were ignored by the government and this electoral bond system was introduced. Why was such an Act introduced unless there are ulterior motives? Incidentally, the BJP party got lion's share of the electoral bonds.

    " Be Good and Do Good "

  • #745153
    Mr KVRR,
    At the time of purchase of the bond, the individual or the company need to declare its KYC details to the bank. That would ensure that the sum donated is not black money. Also the bank keeps the account of donations received by each political party. Only due to this, you could say that the major lion's share is with BJP. That shows the present value of BJP. The Electoral bond is introduced to eliminate black money, not to circulate black money.

    Why should the public know how much has been donated by whom and to which party? In which way it helps the public? It would create unnecessary problem to the donor. It is like interfering in others privacy.

    The sum donated during the last election is hardly anything. It is only a few thousand crores which is like an halwa piece to a big elephant.

    No life without Sun

  • #745158
    The basic idea behind the electoral bonds was mainly to curb the black money flow in the process of donation of money to the political parties by the interested entities. To that extent the scheme was alright and money also started to come through the white money channels through SBI and all the details were available with the bank in case they are required during some investigation or inquiry.
    The interesting thing in this matter is that the black money will also be coming as usual because there are some people who want to give money to the political parties but cannot give it through the white channels due to obvious reasons. Only good thing is that the proportion of black money now will be less than the big volume that used to be there in earlier times. Every system whatever we devise, there will be some weak points and confusions that some people might exploit for their own advantage and the case of electoral bond also falls in that category.
    Opposition parties very well know that such type of schemes generally favour or help the ruling party only and that is the reason behind all the hue and cry made by them in this matter.

    Knowledge is power.

  • #745161
    @ 745153: At the time of purchasing the bonds, the purchaser has to provide KYC information. That is the end of it. These particulars will not be disclosed to anyone. The money with which the purchaser purchased the bonds can be white or black money. It is not the botheration of the bank. There will not be any identifying information on the bond. Just the amount. The KYC particulars will be in bank records which will not be disclosed even under RTI. The purchaser will present it to a political party of his choice. It will be encashed by the party. The bank will not disclose any details and the purchaser need not show it in his accounts and also to the Election Commission of India. The electoral bonds are now convenient tools that encourage non-transparency and also legitimize the black money into our electoral system. Is this not encouraging black money instead of curtailing it. The anonymity clause keeps all the details in the dark.
    Can you explain the necessity of the anonymity clause of purchasers' names and addresses? Why were the warnings of the Reserve Bank of India, Election Commission of India, Law Ministry, and some of the parliamentarians were disregarded by the government? Now there are some companies that are exclusively for making donations to the political parties, They just have names, no addresses, and no office. Now there are chances of illicit money parked in tax havens outside our country making its way into our electoral system. This is a calculated move to get maximum money out of electoral bonds which will be freely used in elections. The money spent in West Bengal elections was huge and money power in elections make the elections violent and money-based. Do you want such a system where elections are won with money and violencs?

    Every right-thinking individual of this country should make an in-depth study of these electoral bonds and see that such bonds are dispensed with for true democracy in India. Do not see all this from a partisan view. Think as a loyal citizen of this country and come to a conclusion.

    " Be Good and Do Good "

  • #745163
    As per strategy, There were only a few thousand (27000 +) donors who bought the electoral bonds. Many bonds were not encashed by the political parties, and they all reached Prime Minister's Relief fund. Thus we can have a healthy Prime Minister's Relief fund. Then what's wrong with the bond. And the cost of printing electoral bonds by SBI is a meagre amount while we look at the unrecovered loan amount issued to the public.
    No life without Sun

  • #745165
    Are these donations for electoral bonds or for the Prime Minister relief fund? Do not try to divert in your usual manner. Stick to electoral bonds. You are refusing to accept my arguments though you are not sure now. PMRFand Electoral Bonds are different. Do not try to club them and deviate in your usual way. Let us stick to electoral bonds. The cost of printing and commission to SBI may look small to you but they are taxpayer's money spent by the government not the bank. Why should the taxpayer's money be spent on political parties amassing funds in a dubious manner?

    The purchaser purchases the bonds from the bank and provides the KYC details and that is the end of the KYC. Those details remain in the bank's records and are not available to anyone even under RTI. Only the government can know the details to know how much was donated and to which parties. This puts the party in power at an undue advantage to garner hefty funds. The government has disregarded the warnings about black money flow into the electoral system by the Reserve Bank of India, Election Commission, Law Ministry, and some sane parliamentarians. Why the government has not heeded their warnings? What is the motive of the party in power? Is it not to garner more donations?

    Assuming your figure of 27000+ to be genuine, Is the money donated by them is legal or illicit? No one knows. The Supreme Court of India already pointed out that there is every possibility of this money being used for dangerous objectives.

    The public has every right to know about the donations the political parties receive. This money is used to get favorable policies for the contributing business houses. The people have to know what they are donating and what they are getting in turn. Kwid pro quo. The anonymity clause reeks of corruption in our electoral and political system.

    " Be Good and Do Good "

  • #745179
    You have half baked knowledge on Electoral Bonds. It is for sure that the instructions to bank is clear. If a bond is not encashed within 15 days by a political party, where would the money go? The instruction is very clear. Such unencashed money is deposited into the PM's relief fund by the bank. Bank keeps a thorough account of EBs. Please get your doubt cleared from the reliable sources. So far 600+ crores have been deposited into PM's relief fund through the Electoral Bonds.

    What do you mean by dangerous activities? The bond can be handled only by a recognized political party. Ulthu-Falthu political parties cannot make their fund with the bonds.

    The recognized reputed political parties need a huge fund for their political activities. So far, they had been begging for the fund, and the donors who could pay for the fund were not ready to fund due to their identity being disclosed. Now, due to the introduction of Electoral bonds, they receive huge fund from the donors donating without any fear or favour.

    No life without Sun

  • #745183
    This in reference to KVRR observation that "The anonymity clause in the electoral bond system gives rise to the flow of black money in the electoral process and the political system" When the bonds need to be purchased though SBI banking system where is the question of black money is involved. For the bond holder, it is the hassle free, donating to any party or Individual without any pressure. And these bonds made the dignified way of getting the funds instead of begging for the same till now which was practice. Overall this bonds would pave for good funding and there cannot be selective choosing and funding.
    K Mohan @ Moga
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #745211
    Since all the participants except one (Mr KVRR) have said nothing ill or criticized about the Electoral bond, It is to be presumed that the Electroral Bond is not a flaw, but a beneficial one for all the registered major political parties for collecting fund for their party for election expenditure. And that is the truth and fact. No one is affected by the Electoral bond, I conclude.

    No life without Sun

  • #745332
    I am away from home for the past three days. I will come back with a response sometime today.
    " Be Good and Do Good "

  • #745392
    1. The topic is about the ills of electoral bonds. Why the PMRF makes any sense even though unclaimed bonds are credited to PMRF? I have the correct facts. The electoral bonds are for political parties only. It is not a channel for PMRF. Only unclaimed bonds are credited to it. It cannot be claimed as an advantage.
    The bonds remain unclaimed in two situations. The purchaser may decide not to donate bonds purchased to any political party. The political party which receives the bonds fails to encash the bond in a stipulated time which is highly unlikely.

    2. TheSupreme Court of India, in one of the hearings, expressed its concern that political parties could misuse crores received as donations through electoral bonds to bankroll violent protests or even terror.

    3. The Reserve Bank of India said that the electoral bonds and amendment to the RBI Act would set a "bad precedent". The bank argued that such a step would encourage money laundering and would undermine the faith in Indian currency. It stated that electoral bonds would be a type of "bearer bond" that bears no trace of its ownership.

    4. The Election Commission of India expressed its concern about the anonymous nature of the electoral bonds.

    5. One important thing is the information is out of bounds to RTI and that means to the citizens of India. Why such secrecy?

    Why the anonymity clause is not discussed by any of the members responding except Mr. Sheo Shankar Jha? The case is coming up for hearing very shortly during this month or the next month. The merits of the bonds will be decided shortly.

    " Be Good and Do Good "

  • #745412
    It is an interesting topic for discussion though but most of the members, especially, the author who has started this thread seems to be confused or blindfolded by this issue. It should be kept in mind that businessmen or industrialists would not donate their money to any political party unless it is a matter of profit for their companies. When the political parties get a huge amount from any person or company will certainly give them financial benefits also.
    Bank or political party does not mind if money is black or white. This kind of facility facilitates the black money holder to get it coloured white. Does it not look true that electoral bonds open new ways of corruption?

  • #745423
    We should understand that the money transacted through our banks is not black money. The bank asks for pan details of the donor if the sum transacted exceeds Rs. 50,000/-. Hence there is no question of black money being made white.
    There is nothing wrong if the money of the unclaimed/uncashed bond reaches Prime Minister's relief fund. It is not going to Modi's fund. It is not reaching any particular Prime Minister fund. PMRF is carried forward and the next Prime Minister coming to power from another political party holds the fund.

    The introduction of Electoral bonds avoids begging for funds that may not yield fruitful funding.

    No life without Sun

  • #745424
    The author is obsessed with PMRF instead of discussing electoral bonds. No one is claiming that the uncashed bond money going to PMRF is wrong. The anonymity clause is studiously avoided. The banks are not concerned whether the money is black or not. The mere mentioning of PAN does not help as the records and information about the purchaser of the bonds are out of the bounds of everyone. The author is really confused and has nothing concrete to offer.
    " Be Good and Do Good "

  • #745438
    I agree with you. I think that the author should stick to the topic instead of beating about the bush.

  • #745442
    Why I talked about and connected PMRF is to make us know that the bond also subscribes to PMRF in some way. The money is accounted for by the bank. So far 600+ crores have reached PMRF through Electoral bonds.

    Anyway, I do not agree that black money is made white through electoral bonds. The public need not know who is donating to which party. Such information would affect the individual and the party. The PAN keeps records and would give the details of the donor's details of the tax paid by the individual or the group.

    Some RTI activists and BJP haters (As BJP received huge funds) have created problems with these genuine electoral bonds. It is an egoistic problem.

    I am putting an end to this thread as the member is not clear with Electoral Bonds and not able to justify his stand on the topic.

    No life without Sun

  • #745444
    The author stands exposed and blames others. Better put an end to this thread.
    " Be Good and Do Good "

  • #745447
    When the identity of the buyer of the bond and the party receiving the amount is not disclosed then where is the clarity? The public will vote for a party but will not know from where the funds came, doesn't it sound funny? RTI activities are against it because the information is not shared and the Election Commission is worried because the source of funds is not known to it which is essential in a democracy. A fund whose source and destination is kept secret itself indicates corruption.

    "Life is easier when you enjoy what you do"

  • #745448
    The voters of India should worry about the candidates contesting the election, and should see the party whose governance was/is/will be good for the country and the public, not the fund held with the parties and the individuals who have donated to the party.

    The parties need funds mainly for publicity and advertisements. They need to print their election manifesto and posters, arrange public meetings with safety and security. The expenditure involved will be a huge sum that it has to be begged as donation from the public. The electoral bonds eases the attempt to beg.

    No life without Sun

  • #745465
    Sun, please look into this line of the thread that I am quoting. "Let us discuss the pros and cons of the Electoral fund, here." So far so good. Members have expressed their views as you have suggested a discussion on it. But from time to time you are responding in the support of the bonds and trying to prove others wrong who are against such bonds or questioning their viability. You are not to decide what the voters of this country should worry about. If you are stubborn in support of the bonds then why you have posted this thread and sought the views of others? It is not expected from a senior member like you.

    "Life is easier when you enjoy what you do"

  • #745474
    Sankalan, you are right. But members are not coming up with pros and cons point by point.
    I would say that
    Pros -
    It is easy to donate money to political parties,
    The individuals and the political parties are not visible. If made visible to the public that would create problems for the individual.
    Political parties are largely benefitted.
    Parties need not go out and beg around.
    The account is maintained by SBI.
    The uncashed bonds reach the PMRF.

    Cons - Nothing.

    Kindly go ahead with your pros and cons.

    No life without Sun

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