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In the run up to Assembly polls, SBI sold over Rs 400 cr electoral bonds

PW Bureau

RTI data showed that most of the bonds that were sold were in the highest denomination of Rs 1 crore, whereas bonds of smaller denominations were not at all sought after by buyers New Delhi: In the 10-day window in October, government-run State Bank of India (SBI) has sold electoral bonds worth Rs 400 crores, marking a steep rise over the Rs 32 crore generated from the sale of the last tranche of bonds in July.

Higher denomination bonds more in demand

According to the data released by the bank in response to the RTI query filed by Factly, also showed that most of the bonds that were sold were in the highest denomination of Rs 1 crore, whereas bonds of smaller denominations were not at all sought after by buyers. The data shows that Rs 401.73 crore worth of bonds were sold by SBI in the October 1-10 window, the fifth tranche in which the bonds were available for sale. Within this, about 37.5 percent of the bonds (Rs 150.7 crore worth) were sold in Mumbai, the highest share among the 11 cities where the bonds were for sale. The city with the second highest sales was Kolkata (Rs 62.6 crore worth).

What were the previous trends?

The first four tranches saw a huge variation in the value of electoral bonds sold by SBI. In March, for example, SBI sold bonds worth Rs 222 crore. In April, Rs 114.9 crore worth of bonds were sold, which fell to Rs 101 crore in May, and just Rs 32 crore in July. The data from all five tranches shows that barely any electoral bonds were sold in the smaller denominations of Rs 1,000, Rs 10,000, and Rs 1 lakh. For example, in the March and April tranches, a total of just 17 bonds (2.2 percent of the total) were sold in the Rs 1,000 denomination, and none was sold in the Rs 10,000 denomination. In contrast, 450 bonds were sold in the Rs 10 lakh denomination (58.6 percent of the total) and 291 in the Rs 1 crore denomination (37.9 percent of the total). These trends were largely similar in the October tranche as well. While Rs 1,000 denomination made up about 0.6 percent of the total bonds sold in October, the Rs 10,000 denomination made up 2.6 percent, the Rs 1 lakh denomination 5.7 percent, the Rs 10 lakh denomination made up 41.6 percent, and the Rs 1 crore denomination made up 49.3 percent.

Assembly elections in the backdrop

The electoral bond sale figures assume significance because of the Assembly elections that are slated to take place in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram.