Rs 30,000 crore to be spent on Lok Sabha elections

Mar 16 2014, 16:07 IST
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Out of the estimated Rs 30,000 crore, the exchequer will spend Rs 7000 to Rs 8000 crore to hold the electoral exercise for the 16th Lok Sabha. (AP) Out of the estimated Rs 30,000 crore, the exchequer will spend Rs 7000 to Rs 8000 crore to hold the electoral exercise for the 16th Lok Sabha. (AP)
SummaryOut of the estimated Rs 30,000 crore, the exchequer will spend Rs 7000 to Rs 8000 crore...

panel show that expenditure on conducting Lok Sabha polls have increased 20 folds – from 60 paise in the first general elections in 1952 to Rs 12 in 2009.

Considering expenditure in absolute terms, Rs 10.45 crore was spent in 1952, while Rs 846.67 crore was the amount government spent for 2009 polls.

Cost wise, the 2004 Lok Sabha election was the heaviest on government exchequer with about Rs 1,114 crore spent in the exercise. In this election per voter cost too was the highest as government had spent Rs 17 per elector.

There was an increase in the election cost by 17.53 per cent vis-a-vis the 1999 general elections despite the fact that there was reduction in number of polling stations by 11.26 per cent.

In first six Lok Sabha polls, cost per elector was less than a rupee, but coming elections saw a massive hike in election expenditure.

The reasons for the hike could be attributed to the fact that several political parties have jumped into electoral fray and even the number of Independents contesting polls have increased.

Voter awareness campaigns, distribution of voter slip ahead of election date, use of Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail for the first time in the 2014 LS polls may increase expenditure further.

The entire expenditure on actual conduct of elections to Lok Sabha is borne by the Centre. But, expenditure towards law and order maintenance is taken care of by respective state governments.

According to the CMS study, if Rs 30,000 crore is spent in this poll, then per voter expenditure will stand at Rs 400 to Rs 500 per voter.

"If the turnout is 75 per cent, the expenditure works out at Rs Rs 500 to Rs 600 per voter," it says.

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