Electoral bonds have been in news since the time it was exposed that the Modi government broke multiple regulations while pushing for the electoral bonds scheme.
It has now been reported by The Wire that the idea to share details of the electoral bond scheme with political parties and the public was dropped after a presentation before the Prime Minister on August 21, 2017.
According to documents accessed by right to information activist Anjali Bhardwaj, joint secretary (budget) in the Department of Economic Affairs Prashant Goyal, on August 14, 2017, sent an email to another IAS officer which stated that the “FM has desired that a time may be fixed to make a presentation to PMO on the aforesaid subject”.
Subsequently, a typed note reveals that “Secretary EA made a presentation on the draft structure of the Electoral Bond Scheme to PM” on August 21, 2017 and that the presentation was made “with the approval and directions of FM”, The Wire reported.
The original note, shown during the presentation, stated that “a view may be taken on following [two] issues”.
- “Whether consultation with political parties needs to be carried out on the proposed scheme? If yes, whether the draft scheme may be circulated to all national and state parties with a 15 days window to submit draft comments?”
- “Whether the draft scheme needs to be opened to public for comments by hosting it on MoF website”.
However, after the meeting (presentation), changes were made to the original note by omitting these two queries.
It’s apparent that it was during the meeting with the Prime Minister that it was decided to not consult political parties and not circulate the draft scheme to all national parties as well as not open the draft scheme to the public for comments by hosting it on the Ministry of Finance website.
Credit: The Wire