ECI Constitutes Committee on Expenditure Limit

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News: Election Commission of India(ECI) has constituted a committee to examine the issues concerning the expenditure limit for a candidate.

Facts:

  • Background: The committee was set up after the Ministry of Law & Justice has notified an amendment in Rule 90 of Conduct of Elections Rules,1961 increasing the existing election campaign expenditure limit by 10% with immediate effect in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic situation.
  • Members of the Committee: The committee comprises Harish Kumar (Ex.IRS) and Umesh Sinha(DG-Expenditure).
  • Terms of Reference: 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.

Additional Facts:

  • Expenditure Limit: Election Commission of India imposes limits on the expenditure incurred by a candidate, but not political parties on their election campaign.
    • Range: The expenditure limits range from Rs. 20 lakh to Rs. 28 lakh for assembly elections and from Rs. 54 lakh to Rs.70 lakh for Lok Sabha elections.
    • Earlier Revision: The expenditure limit was last revised in 2014 while the same was done for Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in 2018, following their bifurcation in 2014.
    • After that, the limit has not been increased despite an increase in the electorate and an increase in the Cost Inflation Index.