Poll-expense raised by 75 pc for most states

The candidates contesting the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls can now spend more as the Union government on Friday raised the ceiling by 75 per cent for all Parliamentary constituencies in all states except Goa, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.

The candidates will be allowed to spend Rs 70 lakh, a steep hike from the existing cap of Rs 40 lakh.

The Cabinet approved the Election Commission’s (EC) proposal for a hike in the ceiling of the electoral expenditure, both for the Parliamentary as well as the Assembly polls.The Cabinet approved amendment to the Conduct of the Election Rules,1961, to revise the limit of election expenditure to be incurred by a candidate for Parliamentary polls to Rs 70 lakh in the National Capital Territory of Delhi as well as in all the states, except Arunachal Pradesh, Goa and Sikkim.

The limits on electoral expenditures were raised to Rs 54 lakh in Arunachal Pradesh, Goa and Sikkim. For the Union Territories of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep and Puducherry, the limits of electoral expenditures, which now range between Rs 16 lakh and Rs 32 lakh, were revised to Rs 54 lakh for Parliamentary constituencies.

In case of Assembly constituencies, the poll-expense limit has been increased to Rs 28 lakh in all the states except Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura and Puducherry, where it would be Rs 20 lakh.

An official press-release stated that the poll-expense limits had been hiked due to increase in number of electors, polling stations as well as rise in the cost inflation index.

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