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EC hikes expenditure limits for candidates ahead of Assembly polls

India News

The Election Commission on Thursday announced a hike in expenditure limit for candidates to Rs 95 lakh (up from Rs 70 lakh) for Lok Sabha elections, and Rs 40 lakh (up from Rs 28 lakh) for Assembly polls.

The government’s decision is based on EC’s recommendation.

The EC had formed a committee to study cost factors and other related issues, and subsequently make suitable recommendations. The committee invited suggestions from political parties, chief electoral officers and election observers, and found that there has been a substantial increase in the number of electors and Cost Inflation Index since 2014. It also factored in the changing modes of campaigning.

Candidates in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur can now go for increased poll expenditure.

For Assembly elections, the revised expenditure limit for candidates is Rs 40 lakh for big states, up from Rs 28 lakh. Candidates in smaller states can spend a maximum Rs 28 lakh instead of the earlier limit of Rs 20 lakh. The new expenditure limits will be applicable in all upcoming polls, the EC said.

The EC said: “Having regard to demand from political parties to raise existing election expenditure limi… the Committee furnished its recommendations to enhance the ceiling limit. The Commission has accepted recommendations… and decided to enhance existing election expenditure limit…”

On Thursday, the EC also held a meeting with Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan to review the Covid-19 situation. It “emphasised” on the need to “ensure vaccination”, an EC official said.

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