Election Commission hikes expenditure limit for Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assembly Candidates

Tags: National News

The Election Commission of India declared hike in expenditure limits for Lok Sabha candidates and also for State legislative Assembly candidates. This hike is after the last major hike in 2014. There was a 10% increase in 2020 due to Covid Pandemic.

  • This is based on the report of a committee set up by the Election Commission which was set up in October 2021 and was asked to submit its report within 120 days.
  • This is notified by The Ministry of Law and Justice through an amendment to the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961.
  • The expenditure limit is specified under Rule 90 of the Conduct of Election Rules and any change requires the law ministry’s approval.
  • The expenditure limits vary from large states to small states based on population as per the 2001 census.
  • The Bigger states include Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and the only UT of Delhi. Rest all other states and UT’s come under small states.

The poll body increased the expenditure limit for the Lok Sabha constituencies to -

  • Rs 95 lakh from the earlier threshold of Rs 70 lakh for bigger states and 
  • Rs 75 lakh from the earlier Rs 54 lakh for smaller states. 

Likewise, the expenditure amount has been revised for assembly constituencies to 

  • Rs 40 lakh from earlier Rs 28 lakh in bigger states and
  • Rs 28 lakh from Rs 20 lakh in smaller states

The committee decided based on the following-

  • The change in the number of electors(834 million in 2014 to 936 million in 2021) across the States/Union Territories and its bearing on expenditure. 
  • Change in Cost Inflation Index(an increase of 32.08% from 2014 to 2021­-22) and its bearing on the pattern of expenditure incurred by the candidates in recent elections.
  •  the political parties and other stakeholders like chief electoral officers, election observers etc.
  • Other factors which may have bearings on expenditure like changing modes of campaigning, which is gradually shifting to the virtual and social media based digital campaigns.

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