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ECI Sets Up Panel To Examine Expenditure Limit For Candidates

New Delhi:  In view of upcoming elections, the Election Commission has constituted a two-member committee to examine the issues concerning expenditure limit for a candidate considering increase in number of electors and rise in Cost Inflation Index and other factors.

Former Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer Harish Kumar, who was a Director General, Investigation, and the EC’s Secretary General and Director General, Expenditure, Umesh Sinha will be the committee members.

The committee’s terms of reference are to assess the change in number of electors across the states or Union Territories and its bearing on expenditure, the change in Cost Inflation Index and its bearing on the pattern of expenditure incurred by the candidates in recent elections, and seeking views of the political parties and other stakeholders.

Also examining other factors which may have bearings on expenditure and examine any other related issue, it has been asked to submit its report within 120 days of its constitution,

Considering the Covid-19 factor, the Ministry of Law and Justice on October 19 had notified an amendment in Rule 90 of Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961 enhancing the existing expenditure limit by 10 per cent, with immediate effect in ongoing elections.

Expenditure limit for a candidate was last revised in 2014 while in respect of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, it was revised on October 10, 2018.

In last six years, the limit was not increased despite the increase in electorate from 834 million to 910 million in 2019 to 921 million now, the EC said in a statement.

Further, it said that Cost Inflation Index during this period has increased from 220 to 280 in 2019 to 301 now.

(IANS)

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