Poll expenditure limits for candidates hiked ahead of assembly elections


The election expenditure limit for candidates has been hiked to Rs 95 lakh from Rs 70 lakh for Lok Sabha elections and to Rs 40 lakh from Rs 28 lakh for assembly polls, the Election Commission said on Thursday citing a Law Ministry notification.

The decision of the government is based on the recommendation made by the poll panel.

For Lok Sabha polls, the revised expenditure limit is now Rs 95 lakh for bigger states and Rs 75 for smaller states.

Earlier, the limit was Rs 70 lakh for bigger states and Rs 54 lakh for smaller states.

For assembly elections, the revised poll expenditure limit for candidates is Rs 40 lakh for big states, up from Rs 28 lakh. Candidates in smaller states can now spend a maximum of Rs 28 lakh instead of Rs 20 lakh.

The new expenditure limits will be applicable in all upcoming polls, the EC said.

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

Elections are due in the five states and the Commission is expected to announce poll dates in the next few days.

For Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Uttarakhand, the expenditure limit for assembly polls is now Rs 40 lakh. For Goa and Manipur, it is now Rs 28 lakh, according to the notification.

For rallies and events of star campaigners, the expenditure is borne by parties.

There is no limit on expenditure by political parties.

Last major revision in the election expenditure limit for candidates was carried out in 2014, which was further increased by 10 per cent in 2020 as an interim measure. Simultaneously, the Election Commission formed a committee to study the cost factors and other related issues, and make suitable recommendations.

The committee had invited suggestions from political parties, chief electoral officers and election observers. The committee found that there has been increase in the number of electors and Cost Inflation Index since 2014 substantially, the EC said in a statement.

It also factored into the changing modes of campaigning, which is gradually shifting to virtual campaign.

Having regard to demand from political parties to raise existing election expenditure limit for candidates and increase in electors from 2014 to 2021 from 834 million to 936 million (up by 12.23 per cent) and rise in Cost Inflation Index from 2014-15 to 2021-22 from 240 to 317 (up by 32.08 per cent), the committee made its recommendations to enhance the ceiling limit.

The Commission accepted the recommendations and decided to enhance the existing election expenditure limit for candidates. The revised limits have now been notified by the Law Ministry, it said.



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