New Delhi: Election Commission has constituted a committee comprising Sh. Harish Kumar, Ex. IRS and DG (Investigation), Sh. Umesh Sinha, Secretary General and DG (Expenditure) to examine the issues concerning expenditure limit for a candidate in view of increase in number of electorsand rise in Cost Inflation Index and other factors.
Considering the factor of COVID-19, the Ministry of Law & Justice on 19.10.2020 has notified an amendment in Rule 90 of Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961 enhancing the existing expenditure limit by 10%. This increase of 10% will be applicable with immediate effect in ongoing elections.
Expenditure limit for a candidate was last revised in 2014 vide notification dated 28.02.2014, while in respect of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana it was revised vide notification dated 10.10.2018.
In last 6 years the limit was not increased despite increase in electorate from 834 million to 910 million in 2019 to 921 million now. Further, Cost Inflation Index during this period has increased from 220 to 280 in 2019 to 301 now.
The committee will have following terms of reference:-
To assess the change in number of electors across the States/Union Territories and its bearing on expenditure.
To assess the change in Cost Inflation Index and its bearing on the pattern of expenditure incurred by the candidates in recent elections.
To seek views/inputs of the political parties and other stakeholders.
To examine other factors which may have bearings on expenditure.
To examine any other related issue.
The Committee will submit its report within 120 days of its constitution.