EC contemplates raising campaign spend by Rs 10 lakh


New Delhi : The Election Commission is contemplating to raise the ceiling on the expenditure allowed to candidates in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, in view of the inflation that has rendered campaigning expensive.

The EC, in a proposal to the Law Ministry, asks for a revision in the upper limit of campaign budgets per candidate, from the prevailing Rs 40 lakh to a new lever of Rs 50- 60 lakh.
For the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, the permissible campaigning expense was Rs 25 lakh .
Fearing a breach of the upwardly revised limit, the EC will deploy large number of personnel from the Income Tax Department personnel to keep tabs on expenses incurred by candidates, sources said.
The EC has written to the government from repeatedly to permit state funding of candidates of registered political parties cto reduce misuse of the cash in elections.
The government has so far resisted the proposal fearing it would create two categories of candidates — those contesting with the government money and independents who are not entitled for any government funds.
They fear such a move could be viewed as discriminatory and create legal problems.

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