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Electoral bonds: Modi government rejected RBI objections to scheme, says report

Modi government rejected RBI objections to the electoral bonds scheme. The report said the scheme fused untraceable funds into Indian politics.

The BJP government has overruled RBI over the electoral bonds policy despite the latter’s objection over it on several occasions. The report revealed that how former finance minister Arun Jaitley dismissed RBI warnings over the electoral bond scheme. In an exclusive report of Paisa Politics, Huffington Post India has claimed that how the Modi government brought untraceable funds into Indian politics although the scheme was dismissed by the RBI.

The HuffPost India report revealed that the Modi government in 2017 planned to amend laws regarding the electoral bond policy to infuse offshore money into Indian politics. The document also claimed that any government amends laws only after it made consultations with ministries and other government officials which may be impacted by the proposed changes or have a view on the matter. But in electoral bonds, the government sidelined its ministers and most important the RBI.

Hasmukh Adhia, who was holding the revenue secretary then, had dismissed the RBI’s concerns which also noticed that the government had never been serious about RBI’s feedback, to begin with, such scheme. The letter signed by Adhia and later signed off by Arun Jaitley was moved to RBI with a fact that creation of electoral bonds, and the amendment to the RBI Act, means to introduce transparency and cleansing the system of political funding in India.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had also refused to stay on the usage of electoral bonds for political donations. The apex court had also maintained that the political parties must reveal the details before the Election Commission.

Through the electoral bond scheme, the citizen can donate money to any eligible political party in multiple values of Rs 1,000, Rs 10,000, Rs 1 lakh, Rs 10 lakh and up to Rs 1 crore. The securing political parties had secured at least 1 percent of the votes polled in the Lok Sabha or state elections.

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