The fact that election bound states would require hard cash for petty expenses for electioneering, the Election Commission on Wednesday requested the Reserve Bank of India to hike the limit of withdrawal in poll bound states. The Commission told RBI’s governor Urijit Patel that candidates were facing issues due to noteban, especially in rural areas. He requested that the candidate who is the returning officer of the constituency be issued a certificate that he is a candidate and he or she be allowed to withdraw Rs 2 lakh per week from a bank account which they shall open specially for the elections. This facility should be extended upto March 1, the EC said.
The candidates should open a bank account especially for the Assembly polls to meet poll related expenditures which will be monitored by the EC. Since the process of elections lasts for three to four weeks, the Commission said that RS 24, 000 as weekly withdrawal limit would be Rs 96,000 which is too less. Candidates are allowed to spend upto Rs 28 lakhs on electioneering according to EC rules. In Manipur and Goa the limit is Rs 20 lakhs.
EC also said that even if one tries paying through cheques, hard cash is still imperative for many expenditures. Also the “issue is further adversely effected” in rural areas where banking facilities are “negligible”, the EC said.