The Indian Wire » News » Poll bonds wouldn’t fix issues of black money, RBI informed Central Government ahead of elections
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Poll bonds wouldn’t fix issues of black money, RBI informed Central Government ahead of elections

The Reserve Bank India warned the central government that Poll bonds won’t fix the issue of black money in the electoral funding as you cannot find the donor’s identity. The problem with these instruments is that, while the information of the person who is buying a bond is known (to the bank), the donors’ identity is not known. This is because these are bearer bonds – According to central banking sources.

“The person who donated, that record is not available. So any person who wants to hide his identity can make some other person buy it and give it to him,” the source added.

“One hesitation RBI had was that it almost becomes currency. Because it is a bearer bond. So anybody can become its owner. I buy it, I am a legitimate person, and you buy it from me and you donate it to party X. In record, your name will nowhere be there. Only the person who bought it, his name will be there,” a source explained.

Former finance minister Arun Jaitley announced the idea of electoral bonds in his Budget (2017-18) speech made on February 1, 2017, and the scheme was notified by the government in January 2018. A person can buy these bonds from Know Your Customer (KYC) compliant account from designated branches of the State Bank of India. These bonds are valid for 15 days.

“Ideally, the expectation was all donations will be through the bonds. There will not be any cash donations. That has not happened. Because there is no disincentive for cash donations. RBI said that this is not going to solve the problem. The purpose for which you are bringing out these bonds is not likely to be achieved,” the source said.

Congress on the first day of the Winter Session in Parliament allegedly blamed Central Government for overruling RBI. They said BJP Government introduced electoral bonds for their benefit and to enable “black money to enter their BJP coffers” and described the scheme as “opaque” promoting “money laundering”. Congress demanded to scrap the scheme and public the names of the people who bought these bonds.

“In New India, bribes and illegal commissions are called electoral bonds,” said Rahul Gandhi.

“Electoral bonds were cleared by by-passing RBI and dismissing national security concerns to enable black money to enter the BJP coffers. It appears that while the BJP was elected on the promise of eradicating black money it was busy lining its own pockets with exactly that! What a shameful betrayal of the Indian people” tweeted Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Monday.

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