The government notified the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday that election bonds worth Rs 9,208.24 crore had been purchased by eligible persons and entities.
The 2018 Electoral Bond Scheme was notified by the government on January 2, 2018.
Citing data provided by the Department of Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Finance, Union Minister Rao Inderjit Singh said that “so far (until the completion of Phase XIX) election obligations of a amount of Rs 9,208.24 crore” was purchased from the authorized bank, State Bank of India, by eligible individuals and corporate entities.
Under the provisions of Section 182 of the Companies Act 2013, companies, other than state-owned companies and those less than three years old, are permitted to contribute directly or indirectly to any political party with the approval of their respective Board of Directors.
“These companies are required to disclose in their profit and loss account the total amount they paid out during the financial year to which the account relates and the name of the party is not required to be disclosed. data relating to political parties is not kept,” the minister said in a written response.
Singh, who is the Minister of State for Corporate Affairs, was responding to a question about the total amount paid to political parties by companies over the past three years.
The minister also said that election bonds can be purchased by a person, who is an Indian citizen or incorporated or established in India. Also, a person being an individual can buy bonds, either alone or jointly with other individuals.
“As a result, no election bonds are issued to foreign entities,” he added.
Asked about the steps taken by the government to counter negative verdicts received in international arbitrations, Singh said the government is taking all appropriate legal steps to protect its interests.
According to him, the Revenue Laws (Amendment) Act 2021 recently passed by Parliament has led to a reduction in such ongoing litigation.
“According to information received from the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, in cases where the Republic of India has received unfavorable awards in international investment arbitration, the government engages lawyers with relevant experience to overturn the decision and to manage the enforcement proceedings, if any,” he said in another response.
In a separate response, the Minister said that no rules had been notified for the direct listing of securities on foreign stock exchanges to date.
“Section 5 of the Companies (Amendment) Act 2020 (amending Section 23 of the Companies Act 2013) has not yet come into force,” it added.
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