Govt May Im­pose Time Limit For Re­deem­ing Elec­toral Bonds

Pre­cau­tions will be built in to en­sure the anonymity of the donors’ con­tri­bu­tions

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics - Rav­ish.Ti­wari@ times­group.com

New Delhi: The gov­ern­ment is plan­ning­toim­poseatime­lim­it­forre­deem­ing the elec­toral bonds an­nounced in theBud­get­toen­surethatthe­p­ro­posed in­stru­ment of po­lit­i­cal fund­ing is not mis­used as a par­al­lel cur­rency.

A se­nior gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial in­volved in fram­ing of the new mech­a­nism told ET on con­di­tion of anonymity that the bonds will have to be re­deemed­withi­naspec­i­fied­num­ber of days to en­sure the bonds are cred­ited into the des­ig­nated banks ac- counts of po­lit­i­cal par­ties at the ear­li­est. “There will be a fixed time win­dow for re­deem­ing the elec­toral bonds. In fact, this time win­dow will be in terms of days, not months or years,” the of­fi­cial said.

This will en­sure that the pro­posed elec­toral bonds do not be­come a par- al­lel cur­rency for ex­change between mul­ti­ple en­ti­ties, a prospect that could­de­feattheiren­tire­pur­pose,the of­fi­cial said.As an­nounced in the Bud­get, the bonds “shall be redeemable only in the des­ig­nated ac­count of a reg­is­tered po­lit­i­cal party” to en­surethecor­po­rate­fund­sare­cred­ited to reg­is­tered po­lit­i­cal par­ties at the ear­li­est after the bonds are pur­chased by the donors.

Al­though the gov­ern­ment is yet to frame­ex­act­con­tour­sof as­cheme­for the ad­min­is­tra­tion of bonds, of­fi­cials said that pre­cau­tions will be built in to en­sure the anonymity of the donors’ con­tri­bu­tions.

The of­fi­cials sug­gested that bank se­crecy norms will en­sure that the iden­ti­ties of bond pur­chasers are kept confidential. How­ever, the cor­po­rate en­ti­ties may have to de­clare the value of elec­toral bond pur­chases in their reg­u­lar fil­ings with the Regis­trar of Com­pa­nies. The po­lit­i­cal par­ties will also be re­quired to de­clare only the “to­tal num­ber of bonds” in their in­comes to en­sure in­di­vid­ual iden­ti­ties of the donors are not com­pro­mised.

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