Daily News Analysis

Revision of Election Expenditure

10th January, 2022 Polity

Figure 1: No Copyright Infringement Intended

Context

  • Prior to parliamentary elections in five states, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has raised the spending limit for candidates to vote in Lok Sabha and legislative assembly elections.

Spending in the election:

  • Spending limits are the amount of money a candidate can legally spend on a campaign, such as public rallies, rallies, advertisements, posters and banners, and vehicles.

 Submission:

  • All candidates must submit an expense report to the EC within 30 days of the completion of the election. In addition, there are no restrictions on a party's spending on elections, but within 90 days of the end of the election, the party must submit a statement of spending to the Commission.
  • Last major revision: During the election, candidate spending limits were enforced in 2014 and increased by another 10% in 2020.
  • Under the Representation of the People (RPA), 1951, Section 77, each candidate must keep a record of all expenses incurred between the date of nomination and the date of reporting the results.
  • Section 10A of the law states that false claims or spending that exceeds limits may bar candidates for up to three years.

Changes made:

  • Poll by Lok Sabha: According to a Lok Sabha study, the revised spending limit was Rs 95 racks in larger states and Rs 75 in smaller states. Previously, the upper limit was 70 rupees in larger states and 54 rupees in smaller states.
  • State legislature elections: The spending limit for state elections has been raised from 280,000 rupees to 400,000 rupees.

 

Need of the Change:

  • Cost Inflation Index: According to the Indian Election Commission, the spending revision was due to an increase in the cost inflation index and the size of voters.
  • Increased Voters: The Harish Kumar Commission recommends increasing the limit from 834 million in 2014 to 936 million in 2021, taking into account "party demand" and "increasing voters" Did.
  • Digital Election Campaign: The Commission also took into account party discussions about the additional work they have to bear as a result of Covid's digital election campaign.

Study on Election Expenses in India:

  • The Democratic Reform Association (ADR) conducted a survey in 2021 that analyzed the slips in election spending of 538 of the 543 parliamentarians elected in 2019.
  • This shows that on paper they spent an average of 50.84 Lakh rupees, or 73% of the spending limit.