New Delhi : A report from Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) on Tuesday said MPs on an average spent less than 60% of the allowed expenditure in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls. However, the report shows that, on an average, MPs declared an election expenditure of Rs.14.62 lakh, 59% of the average expense limit in 2009.

Even in the 2013 assembly elections held in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh, show on an average, MLAs declared expenditure that is 50% of the expense limit, the report added.

In Delhi, MLAs declared an average expenditure of 51% of the expense limit, in Chhattisgarh (53%), in Madhya Pradesh (48%), in Rajasthan (46%) and in Mizoram (55%).

A proposal of the Election Commission, cleared by the government, has recently raised the expenditure limit for Lok Sabha elections from Rs.40 lakh to Rs.70 lakh for each Lok Sabha constituency in big states like Maharashtra, MP, UP, West Bengal and Karnataka, etc, and from Rs.22 lakh in smaller states like Goa to Rs.54 lakh, at par with other hilly and northeastern states.

“Raising the ceiling does not address the real issues. First, we need a level-playing ground so a citizen with a desire for public service should be able to contest elections and not be at a disadvantage. Raising the ceiling has no impact on that,” said Trilochan Sastry, founder member of ADR. He added that more transparency in the funding and source of funding was needed, along with penalties for not

being transparent.     –PTI

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