Wednesday, November 30, 2022

EC pushes for reducing candidates’ cash expenditure limit from Rs 10K to Rs 2K

Election Commission of India has proposed reducing the amount a candidate contesting polls can pay in cash for campaign-related expenditure from the existing Rs 10,000 to Rs 2,000 to make their transactions more transparent, sources said.
In the proposal submitted to the Centre recently, the poll panel recommended that the Conduct of Election Rules should be amended to ensure that all cash payments in excess of Rs 2,000 made to a person or entity for election-related expenses are made either through account payee cheques or online and digital means.
This, the sources said, is part of efforts to bring greater transparency in the expenditure by individual candidates contesting polls and to remove “fungibility”. As of now, the candidates have to ensure that all payments in excess of Rs 10,000 are made by cheque, draft or bank transfer through a bank account opened exclusively for the purpose of election expenditure.
According to EC’s instructions, candidates have to open a separate bank account exclusively for election expenditure purposes, at least one day before filing of nomination.
Candidates also have to maintain day-to-day accounts, cash book and bank book from the date of filing of nomination to the date of declaration of results (both dates inclusive). They have to include all expenses incurred on the date of filing of nomination as well. A candidate has to submit the election expenditure account to the District Election Officer within 30 days of the declaration of the poll results.
While announcing the schedule for the Gujarat Assembly polls last week, the EC had said that for the purpose of maintaining purity of elections, it has issued a Standard Operating Procedure for flying squads and static surveillance teams constituted for checking excessive campaign expenses, distribution of items of bribe in cash or in kind, movement of illegal arms, ammunition, liquor, or antisocial elements in the constituencies during the election process.

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