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.
( ), in the 22nd phase of sale, has been authorised to issue and encash electoral bonds through its 29 authorised branches from October 1-10, the finance ministry said in a statement.
The authorised SBI branches include those in Lucknow, Shimla, Dehradun, Kolkata, Guwahati, Chennai, Patna, New Delhi, Chandigarh, Srinagar, Gandhinagar, Bhopal, Raipur, and Mumbai.
Assembly election dates for Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh are likely to be announced in few weeks.
The 21st tranche of bond sales took place from July 1-10, 2022. Sale of the first batch of electoral bonds happened from March 1-10, 2018.
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.