Electoral bonds are being pitched as an alternative to cash donations made to political parties as part of efforts to bring transparency in political funding.
"State Bank of India (SBI), in the 6th phase of sale, has been authorised to issue and encash electoral bonds through its 29 authorised branches with effect from November 1 to 10," the ministry said in a statement.
The 29 specified SBI branches are in cities like New Delhi, Gandhinagar, Chandigarh, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Mumbai, Jaipur, Lucknow, Chennai, Kolkata and Guwahati.
The electoral bond sales comes at a time when assembly election process in five states including Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh has started. The Model Code of Conduct is in force in these states.
The government notified the Electoral Bond Scheme in January this year.
As per provisions of the scheme, electoral bonds may be purchased by a person, who is a citizen of India or entities incorporated or established in India.
Registered political parties that have secured not less than 1 per cent of the votes polled in the last election of the Lok Sabha or legislative assembly will be eligible to receive electoral bonds.
The sale of first batch of electoral bonds took place from March 1-10, 2018. The second phase was launched from April 2-10. The third phase took place during May 1-10, fourth tranche was launched from July 2-11 and fifth was between October 1 and October 10.
SBI is the only authorised bank to issue such bonds. A person being an individual can buy electoral bonds, either singly or jointly, with other individuals.
An electoral bond will be valid for 15 days from the date of issue. No payment would be made to any payee political party if the bond is deposited after expiry of the validity period.
The bond deposited by any eligible political party into its account would be credited on the same day.