India’s largest lender the State Bank of India (SBI) has sold its electoral bonds worth over Rs 3,622 crore in March and April this year, an RTI response said. SBI is the only bank authorized to issue and encash electoral bonds.
In a response to an RTI (Right to Information Act), filed by Pune-based Vihar Durve, the bank disclosed that electoral bonds worth over Rs 2,256 crore were issued in the month of April, which was up by 65.21 per cent from March month issue, at Rs 1,365.69 crore.
As per the filing, in April, most of the electoral bonds were sold in Mumbai at Rs 694 crore, followed by Rs 417.31 crore in Kolkata, Rs 408.62 crore in New Delhi and Rs 338.07 crore in Hyderabad, among other cities, it said.
As an alternative to cash donations made to political parties, electoral bonds were launched on March 1,2018 by the Modi government.
The bonds may be purchased by a person who is a citizen of India “or incorporated or established in India,” the government had said in a statement last year.