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Showing posts from January, 2020

Opaque Electoral Bonds edge out transparent political party funding routes

By Venkatesh Nayak* Soon after the then Union Finance Minister announced the Government’s plan to launch Electoral Bonds (EBs) as a method of making donations to political parties, in February 2017 I had critically analysed its implications . I had also pointed out that EBs will become the preferred method for making large-sized donations to political parties due to the anonymity that it affords to donors. The EB receipt data reported by some political parties, now available in the public domain, thanks to the disclosure of their Annual Audit Reports for 2018-19 on the website of the Election Commission of India, has proved my hypothesis. RTI interventions have also revealed that there were few takers for EBs of lower denominations like Rs 1,000 and Rs 10,000. The EB receipts data shows the sharp plummeting of corporate donations made in a transparent manner as big donors seem to prefer the EBs route. My main findings from a quick comparative analysis of the proportion of EBs to total