The Centre on Friday approved a proposal of the Election Commission to raise expenditure limits for the Lok Sabha elections to a maximum of Rs 70 lakh and a minimum of Rs 54 lakh, allowing candidates to spend more on their poll campaigns.
The meeting of the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh approved amendment of the Conduct of the Election Rules, 1961 and revised the limit of election expenditure incurred by a candidate for parliamentary constituencies to Rs 70 lakh in all states except Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Sikkim, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep and Puducherry which has been kept at Rs 54 lakh.
The Election Commission had written to the Law Ministry proposing a raise in expenditure limits for the Lok Sabha elections to a maximum of Rs 70 lakh and bring the northeastern and hill states on par with those in the plains and proposed the limit of Rs 54 lakh for them. This is due to the increase in the number of electors, polling stations as well as the increase in the cost inflation index.
In case of the Assembly constituencies, the maximum limit has been increased to Rs 28 lakh in all states except Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura and Puducherry where it will be Rs 20 lakh. The limit for Delhi Assembly Elections is proposed to be raised to Rs 28 lakh from Rs 14 lakh at present and Rs 20 lakh for Puducherry from Rs 8 lakh now. The poll expenditure rates will go up from Rs 40 lakh to Rs 70 lakh for each Lok Sabha constituency in bigger states like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Karnataka, while it will go up from the present Rs 22 lakh in smaller states like Goa to Rs 54 lakh on par with other hilly and northeastern states.