SBI issues electoral bonds worth Rs 16,518 crore in 30 tranches

The scheme aims to ensure clean tax-paid money is coming into political funding


State Bank of India (SBI) issued electoral bonds worth Rs 16,518 crore in 30 tranches since the inception of the scheme in 2018, Parliament was informed on Monday.

The objective of the electoral bond scheme is to ensure clean tax-paid money is coming into the system of political funding through proper banking channels, Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary said in a written reply in Lok Sabha.

"The total value of electoral bonds purchased (Phase-I to Phase-XXX) from State Bank of India is about Rs 16,518 crore. No GST or any other taxes/cess are charged from the purchaser on the purchase of electoral bonds," he said.

Sharing details, Chaudhary said, “The commission paid to SBI by the government of India for issuance and redemption of electoral bonds from Phase I to Phase XXV is about Rs 8.57 crore while the amount paid by the government to Security Printing & Minting Corporation of India Ltd (SPMCIL) till date is about Rs 1.90 crore.”

With regard to Rs 5,000 crore 'SEBI-Sahara Refund Account', he said an online portal was launched on July 18, 2023, for submission of claims for refund by the genuine depositors of four Multi-State Cooperative Societies of Sahara Group, namely Sahara Credit Cooperative Society Ltd, Lucknow; Saharayn Universal Multipurpose Society Ltd, Bhopal; Humara India Credit Cooperative Society Ltd, Kolkata; and Stars Multipurpose Cooperative Society Ltd, Hyderabad.

The entire process of disbursement is being carried out under the supervision and monitoring of Justice R. Subhash Reddy, former judge of the Supreme Court, he said in a separate reply.

Presently, he said, payment of only up to Rs 10,000 is being disbursed to each genuine depositor of the Sahara Group of Cooperative Societies against verified claims through an Aadhaar-seeded bank account.

A total of around 1.21 crore applications have been registered on the 'CRCS-Sahara Refund Portal' and an amount of Rs 258.47 crore has been released to 2,77,607 depositors of Sahara Group of Cooperative Societies up to January 31, 2024.

During 2023-24 (up to January 2024), the RBI injected liquidity into the banking system through the conduct of eight fine-tuning variable rate repo (VRR) operations amounting to Rs 8 lakh crore and three VRR main operations amounting to Rs 4.7 lakh crore.

This has contributed, among others, to a year-on-year increase in non-food credit by 18.6 per cent in April-November 2023.


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