There was an intense debate around the introduction of electoral bonds by the government. Data obtained from SBI reveals that there is hardly any demand for electoral bonds of smaller denomination while 99.9% of bonds sold in terms of amount are of Rs 10 lakh & Rs 1 crore denomination.
Data obtained from the State Bank of India (SBI), the authorized bank to issue electoral bonds, suggests that electoral bonds of lower denominations like Rs 1000, Rs 10,000 and Rs 1,00,000 are not in much demand. Close to 97% of all the bonds purchased so far are in denomination of Rs 10,00,000 and Rs 1 crore.
Not a single bond purchased in 6 cities/branches
The scheme was open for 9 days each in March and April. In March, it was open only in four (4) branches across the country (Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai & New Delhi). In April, the scheme was extended to seven (7) other branches taking the total number of branches to eleven (11). The seven other branches were Bangalore, Gandhinagar, Chandigarh, Bhopal, Jaipur, Lucknow & Jaipur. During the first phase in March, bonds were bought in each of the 4 branches. On the other hand, in April, the bonds were bought only in 5 branches out of the 11 (Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi & Bangalore). Not a single bond was bought in other six branches during April.
72% of the total bonds (in amount) purchased from Mumbai & Kolkata
A total of 520 bonds of Rs 222 crore in value were sold in March, whereas in April, only 256 bonds of Rs 114.9 crore in value were sold. On the whole, 776 bonds of Rs 336.9 crore in value were sold in the two months of March & April. In terms of the bonds sold, Kolkata lead the way with 344 followed by 237 in Mumbai. In New Delhi, 76 bonds were sold whereas in Chennai, 62 bonds were sold.
In terms of the amount, bonds worth Rs 173 crore were sold in Mumbai followed by Rs 70 crore in Kolkata. New Delhi accounted for Rs 63 crore of the bonds sold while Chennai accounted for Rs 18 crore. Bonds worth Rs 12.9 crore were sold in Bangalore branch, which was included only in April.
Mumbai accounted for more than 50% of the bonds sold (in terms of amount). Together with Kolkata, it accounted for more than 72% of the bonds sold in terms of amount and close to 75% of the total number of bonds sold.
99.9% of bonds sold (in terms of amount) were in denomination of Rs 10 lakh & Rs 1 crore
The data reveals that the bonds of lower denomination are hardly in demand, an indication that citizens may not be buying them. Together, the denominations of Rs 1000, Rs 10000 and Rs Lakh bonds accounted for only 3.5% of all the bonds sold during this period while the remaining 96.5% of the bonds sold were of Rs 10 lakh & Rs 1 crore denomination. It is highly likely that the Rs 10 lakh & Rs 1 crore denomination are bought by corporates than individuals. In terms of amount, 99.97% of the bonds sold were of Rs 10 lakh & Rs 1 crore denomination. Only 17 bonds of Rs 1000 denomination and 10 bonds of Rs 1 lakh denomination were sold during this period. Not a single bond of Rs 10000 denomination was sold.