Ever back the “Electoral Bond” was appear by Accounts Minister Jaitley as his better addition to “transparent balloter funding” in the 2017 budget, civilian activists accept been pointing out that it has taken their appeal for accuracy to an acute mirror image, absolute opaqueness. While the government’s altercation is that the balloter band will ensure that alone money from acknowledged sources is funneled into the political parties, its opponents accept argued that it absolutely and absolutely hides the character of the donor from all accessible analysis and accordingly the quid-pro-quo that is usually empiric back a political affair comes to ability can not be accustomed openly. Conceivably the FM formed out this arrangement to get abroad from the accomplice commercialism allegation his govt has been adverse from Day 1.
So how does the “electoral bond” assignment and how does it assure the character of the donor? Is it absolutely adequate or does the government (and no one else) apperceive the donation breeze so that the government of the day can fine-tune its behaviors appear the donors to action parties (again a allegation levied adjoin the present BJP govt which at assorted times and by assorted bodies has been alleged to be the best “vindictive” cardinal administration of any India has apparent in accomplished 70 years). What does the band attending like and what is the acquaintance of purchasing a bond.
As addition acutely absorbed in cellophane and accessible accessible donations myself, I was analytical to acquisition out about these questions myself. I had absent the 1st “electoral band window’ (Mar 1 — Mar 10) but absitively to acquirement an balloter band for myself this time and allotment my adventures with the accessible at large. So, yesterday, I went out to the SBI Capital annex at Parliament artery and invested aing to 3 hours of my time and captivated 3 hours of 2 coffer admiral and conceivably addition 30 annual of an AGM (admin) afore I could lay my calmly on my aboriginal “electoral bond”, a promissory agenda of a abounding Rs. 1000/- (if we annual the absolute man hours taken up by this exercise, the coffer absent approx. 2000 according to my calculations. And don’t ask about my absent befalling cost!!)
What is an Balloter Bond
Rather than explain in detail (since the point of the article is to allotment the acquirement acquaintance and accuracy workflow) let me point you to the accomplished “Electoral Band FAQ” created by the SBI association about the scheme. This 15-page affidavit provides all the information, action for acquirement and alike forms etc. Of advance the admiral at the Coffer will ask for more.. that’s why you should apprehend my adventure till the end!
So, as per this FAQ, I, as an alone client had two choices to acquirement an balloter bond — a) appointment the bank, ample in the pay-in slip, accord my check, duke over my KYC docs and delay 3 canicule for the analysis to be cleared. Again appointment the coffer again, do some added formalities and booty home my band OR b) accomplish an online acquittal (via https://www.onlinesbi.com/ ) by aboriginal registering as a -to-be buyer, breeding a basic a/c to alteration the funds, authoritative a NEFT transfer, book a cancellation (after 3 hours) and appointment the coffer with my receipt, KYC docs to complete the purchase.
Clearly, the offiline avenue was too annoying and meant two visits (or more) to the SBI Capital annex from Gurgaon, which I absolute abundant capital to avoid. Also, back I absitively to do this agreement on the 7th April (egged on by a chat on the alleged anonymity of the bond) I had absolutely two alive canicule (April 9 & April 10) to cull off my project. So online acquittal was the ONLY advantage for me and I was beholden for that option.
Online Acquirement Process
The online acquirement action is almost smooth. There are a few insights / tricks that may advice some folks, so let me allotment the same.
Step 1: Appointment https://www.onlinesbi.com/
Step 2: Bang on the “Electoral Band (new) menu” at the top agenda bar
If you do this today, you will alone see the Advice / Downloads advantage as the window for Band affair is now closed. Will re-open on July 1)
If the Band affair window is open, you will see a “Purchase / Redeem’ advantage and additionally a “Print Receipt” option.
Step 3: Select the Acquirement / Redeem Option
Step 4: Choose your state, adopted sbi annex (I accustomed Gurgaon and the annex advantage it gave me was Chandigarh.. You don’t appetite to go to Chandigarh to buy a 1000 blade bond!!)
Step 5: Choose your church (1000 x 1)
Step 6: Admission your adaptable number, which will be accurate thru OTP. The OTP may not appear instantly. If it doesn’t appear in a minute, you can bang on the re-send, which beatific me the OTP twice!
Step 7: The Online SBI apparatus generates your appliance cardinal (EBxxxxxxxx format). This cardinal is acute because the cancellation bearing is angry to this. Pl agenda it bottomward immediately. The cardinal is NOT apparent on the aing screen, which is the challan / basic annual capacity to address the funds via NEFT / RTGS.
Step 8: book the challan / basic annual details. It has the coffer xfr instructions that you will charge for the online cyberbanking you use.
Register the beneficiary into your netbanking and alteration the funds. I beatific Rs. 1000/- from my HDFC bank. I printed the transaction cancellation from HDFC coffer (never apperceive what they may ask for, right?)
Step 9: Three hours afterwards the remiitance, appointment the Online SBI armpit again. Choose the “Print Receipt” advantage (if the band window is open) and admission the appliance consecutive cardinal (from Step 7) and your buzz number. Verify OTP and voila, your acquittal cancellation for the balloter band is presented. Book it (I printed 2 copies!!)
Step 10: Ample out the balloter band appliance form. Its adequately beeline advanced to ample out. Sign it. Accumulate a archetype of your PAN, Voter-ID / Passoport and Aadhaar and you are accessible to appointment the Bank. Wait, you charge addition analytical affidavit that the FAQ doesn’t mention. But I will let you apprehend on.
SBI Capital Annex Visit
The SBI Capital annex is amid on Parliament artery at the Jantar Mantar intersection. Get to the capital architecture and you see a affiche advertence that Balloter band breadth is on the 5th floor. Booty the lift to the 5th attic and ask for Mr. Rawat (he is the administrator administration this deptt). He additionally has a aide Mr. Anup.
I accomplished at 2:20 p.m. which happens to be the cafeteria time (wasn’t mentioned on the FAQ). So I had to delay till 3:00 for the cafeteria time to be over.
Mr. Rawat took my papers, arrested them out and aboriginal asked for my “original Aadhaar card”. I told him there is no absorption of Aadhaar Agenda back Aadhaar is aloof a cardinal to be acclimated to verify my character and he should not be autumn my aadhaar or allurement for my aadhar cardinal copy. He smiled. Rules and rules and benightedness deceit be tackled. Luckily, I had a book of my Aadhaar cardinal allocation. And my biometric worked !!
Next up, he capital my PAN card. I had forgot to booty a archetype but had the aboriginal with me. He was affectionate abundant to use the appointment accessories to copy. And a abate archetype of my Voter ID. All done. Self attested. All done. I anticipation this was over and done / dusted. It had taken about 1.5 hours (the Java software was bottomward on his arrangement and accordingly my Aadhaar could not be absolute as the scanner would not connect). Teething troubles.
I was absolutely activity blessed so far. Again the aing appeal hit me. Anup said he bare a letter from my coffer that the NEFT had been fabricated from my account. I showed him the coffer transaction report, a/c no, ref cardinal and accustomed to acumen that actuality a coffer SBI has the apparatus to verify the sender coffer has the aforementioned number. He insisted that this letter is a charge to accredit antecedent of funds.
Now I was activity as if I was accomplishing some bent act. These banks gave 20,000 cr accommodation to Nirav Modi on forges LOUs and were authoritative me ball hoops for affairs a Rs 1000 bond? Why was there so abundant disbelief on purchasing a bond? Deceit a coffer verify which annual has beatific NEFT ? How appear they issued a cancellation afterwards any verification?
The FAQ does acknowledgment a coffer letter but alone in the case of DD from a bank. Why would addition accomplishing online transaction again appointment his annex to get that letter? I was accepting frustrated. At this point Mr. Joshi explained that SBI has been asked to verify “source of funds” and that’s why the letter? So I proposed if I can book a annual from my online cyberbanking to appearance the transaction was genuine — this was accustomed and I was able to get the band issued afterwards 2 hours! Kudos to Mr. Joshi!!
Note: The missing doc mentioned in the FAQ/Online transaction action is the letter from the bank. If you don’t ambition to accomplish a appointment to the annex (who does nowadays), amuse book a annual folio assuming the NEFT for balloter band purchase. That may assignment or may not — depending on the offier in-charge. My aggregation were ambidextrous with an online band acquirement case for the aboriginal time, clearly. Oh and they will accomplish you ample out a pay-in slip, anyway, cardboard affairs you know.
The band is a accustomed attractive band with some bright aegis features. It has SBI water-mark, the govt allowance water-mark and added aegis appearance accepted in bill addendum and promissory notes. Acutely the government / SBI has gone abysmal to actualize a defended cardboard apparatus that may not be accessible to copy.
The band has a dejected black bury book that grabs attention. Is suggests to the analytical apperception that there issome arrangement underneath. A abysmal browse did not acknowledge anything.
The key aspect to action anonymity is that the band has no consecutive cardinal or client details. Back the band is a accepted denomination, back adored it would be absurd for the affair to co-relate which band was accustomed by which donor. Also, aural SBI itself, the affair aggregation is altered from the accretion team, I am told. So the ability apparently isn’t alike calmly accessible to SBI officers.
But is the band absolutely afterwards any consecutive cardinal of signature? How does SBI accredit the band at the time of redemption? How does the SBI apperceive how abounding bonds accept been issued? In all respects the band is agnate to a bill note, except it can be adored alone by a political party, so there charge be a way to accumulate clue of cardinal of bonds issues (just like consecutive numbers on bill notes). Afterwards consecutive numbers, could anyone book affected bonds and accomplish hay?
A beheld inspection, beneath a magnifier does not acknowledge any printed consecutive cardinal or hidden numbers on the bond. Clearly, any steganography on the bonds is aural the patterns printed on the band itself (the patterns reminded me of the DNA steganography theories). An article in Quint today provides the answer — the consecutive cardinal is arresting beneath Ulta-Violet fluorescence and anchored on the appropriate duke top corner. But is this a donor tracker cardinal or aloof a active consecutive cardinal to clue cardinal of bonds issued?
So, actuality is how I anticipate the band analysis and accretion will work. Back the band is presented, a scanner looks at the arrangement that would arresting a accurate band / invalid band (like a affected note). If the band is valid, the admiral analysis the consecutive cardinal to ensure it was validly issued by SBI. They again attending at the amount (each alternation has a pre-printed value) and the amount is accustomed to the depositors account. It is not bright if the admiral KNOW who the consecutive cardinal was issued to and accordingly the anonymity of the donor is maintained at the processing level.
The claiming is at the college levels of the bank, accounts admiral and government. If a consecutive cardinal is actuality maintained (as accurate by Quint) again acutely it would be accessible to clue all donors at the “interested” level. This absolutely seems to breach the government’s declared position that the bonds will be anonymous. I will be accomplishing the UV analysis myself to affirm this. Added on this later.
Challenges / Accessible Questions
1. Suppose I accord the band to a acquaintance to drop to his admired Party, will the affair affair a cancellation to the bearer? But he did not accomplish any acknowledged donation. So wont the affair be in the berth for an actionable cancellation and for arising a tax deductible affidavit to a affected donor? The tax authorities would additionally be adverse cogent challenges in acceptance the tax claims annual they wont accept admission to the band donor data. Its accepting complicated.
2. The political affair is appropriate to acknowledge capacity of all donors (PAN etc) for any donor aboe 20,000 donated in a banking year. How will the band donors be accurate if the political affair has no way to verify who the absolute donor was. This is worse than banknote in some means as the affair could accept hidden the banknote donation but actuality may be affected to accomplish a amiss declaration. The answer, best acceptable will be that the affair has no obligation to address balloter bonds (yet to be verified).
3. I anticipate the Balloter band / promissory agenda in the accepted anatomy is affiliated to money laundering. Aloof like the Jan Dhan accounts were acclimated by abounding to drop banknote and alteration out in new notes, one could drop banknote into assorted JD accounts, buy bonds application KYC of the poor biting bodies and accumulated the aforementioned into a aprty account. If the affair has no obligation to address Balloter bonds (as doubtable earlier) our FM has artlessly replaced ample unaccounted banknote donations with ample unaccounted coffer baffled bonds. No accretion at all.
I will stop actuality and revisit this article already I accept added afterimage on the UV consecutive number, the accretion workflow (racing adjoin time to get my admired affair to accessible accustomed coffer account) and some added thoughts on band affidavit (steganography), fungibility (when you deceit analyze amid two units of aforementioned commodity), identification (who bought it / holds it and such college adjustment abstraction.
If you accept any account / ability in this area, do share.
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