Strict vigil on poll expenses

BBMP: Ceiling on expenditure is being introduced in urban local body election

Strict vigil on poll expenses

 
The forthcoming elections will be the first polls for an urban local body wherein an expenditure limit has been fixed for candidates. Though there is a ceiling on expenditure by candidates for Assembly and Parliamentary polls, there was no such cap for urban local body polls.

As per amendments made to the Karnataka Municipal Corporations (Elections) Rules 2009, the poll expense of each candidate cannot exceed Rs five lakh. For other city corporations the election expenditure limit has been fixed at Rs three lakh. The new rules even empower the State Election Commission to disqualify a candidate he or she fails to submit the account of expenses within the stipulated time frame and the in the manner prescribed.

Interestingly, the draft notification issued by the Urban Development Department in September this year fixing the ceiling for election expenditure by candidates received just one objection. Hitherto, the Urban Development Department has issued the final notification along with the procedure for maintaining the account on the election expenses.

Accordingly, each candidate or the election agent of the candidate will have to maintain six registers recording daily expenses incurred including expenditure for public functions, processions, publicity material, vehicles used and expenses of fuel on these vehicles.
The new rules also stipulate separate registers need to be maintained to record expenditure made by any other individual, political party, society,  organisation  on behalf of the candidate; to record the details of financial assistance received; details of the expenditure on vehicles used and details of  public meetings, besides the
details of expenditure on travel by leaders of political parties.

The registers should be updated every day and produced before any officer authorised by the State Election Commission for inspection at any time, according to the new rules.

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