The Election Commission has increased the election expenditure limit for candidates in the Lok Sabha elections from Rs 70 lakh to Rs 95 lakh. At the same time, in the assembly elections, this limit will be Rs 40 lakh instead of Rs 28 lakh. The commission gave this information citing the notification of the Ministry of Law.
New Delhi: The election expenditure limit for candidates in the Lok Sabha elections has been increased from Rs 70 lakh to Rs 95 lakh. At the same time, in the assembly elections, this limit will be Rs 40 lakh instead of Rs 28 lakh. The Election Commission gave this information on Thursday citing the notification of the Ministry of Law.
The decision of the government is based on the recommendation made by the election body. The revised spending limit for the Lok Sabha elections will now be Rs 95 lakh for large states and Rs 75 lakh for small states. Earlier this limit was Rs 70 lakh for big states and Rs 54 lakh for small states.
The revised election expenditure limit for candidates for assembly elections has been increased from Rs 28 lakh to Rs 40 lakh for large states. In smaller states, candidates will now be able to spend a maximum of Rs 28 lakh instead of Rs 20 lakh.
The commission said that the new expenditure limit will be applicable in all the upcoming elections. Candidates in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur will now be able to spend election expenses under the new limit.
Assembly elections are to be held in these five states and it is expected that the commission can announce the election dates in the next few days.
According to the Indian Express, a committee was constituted by the Election Commission to study the cost factors and other related issues, which made these recommendations.
The committee invited suggestions from political parties, chief election officers and election observers and found that there has been a substantial increase in the number of voters and the inflation index since 2014.
It also took into account the changing modus operandi of campaigning, which is gradually moving towards virtual mode.
In a statement, the Election Commission said, “Demands being raised by political parties with regard to raising the existing election expenditure limit for the candidates, increase in the number of voters from 834 crore to 936 crore (up 12.23 per cent) from 2014 to 2021 and Taking into account the increase in inflation index from 240 to 317 (32.08 per cent) from 2014-15 to 2021-22, the committee submitted its recommendations for raising the ceiling. The commission has accepted the recommendations of the committee and has decided to increase the existing election expenditure limit for the candidates.
On Thursday, the Election Commission also held a meeting with Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan to review the current situation of COVID-19.
An Election Commission official said, “Information was taken from medical experts to ensure safety measures and the commission insisted on the health secretary to ensure vaccination of all eligible persons.”
On January 5, the Election Commission concluded its pre-poll exercise in respect of all the five assembly elections states with a review of the election preparedness in Manipur. During the review meeting, the commission stressed on the need to conduct safe elections at the polling stations with 100% vaccination of all the polling staff, proper sanitation and social distancing.
(with input from news agency language)
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