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ECI constitutes panel to examine issues concerning expenditure limits

Former Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer Harish Kumar, who was a Director-General, Investigation, and EC’s Secretary-General and Director, Expenditure Umesh Sinha will be the committee members.

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New Delhi: In view of the upcoming election, the Election Commission of India on Wednesday constituted a two-member committee to examine the issues concerning expenditure limit for a candidate in view of the increase in the number of electors and rise in Cost Inflation Index and other factors.

Former Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer Harish Kumar, who was a Director-General, Investigation, and EC’s Secretary-General and Director, Expenditure Umesh Sinha will be the committee members.

Considering the factor of COVID-19, the Ministry of Law & Justice on Monday last had notified an amendment in Rule 90 of Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961 enhancing the existing expenditure limit by 10 per cent.  This increase of 10 per cent 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 an increase in the 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.

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