POLITY

ECI Committee on Expenditure Limit

ECI Committee on Expenditure Limit

Context:

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

Probable Question

  1. Money is bound to play an important part in the      successful pursuit of an election campaign. Discuss

About the Committee

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.

Reason for review:

● In last 6 years the limit was not increased despite increase in electorate from 834 million to 910 million in 2019 to 921 million now.

● Cost Inflation Index during this period has increased from 220 to 280 in 2019 to 301 now.

Need for ceiling on expenditures

Level Playing field:- Limits on campaign expenditure are meant to provide a level-playing field for everyone contesting elections. It ensures that a candidate can’t win only because he/she is rich.

The 255th Report of the Law Commission on electoral reforms argued that unregulated or under-regulated election financing could lead to “lobbying and capture, where a sort of quid pro quo transpires between big donors and political parties/candidates”

Recommendations by Law Commission in its 255th Report:

● Limits on political contribution and party candidate expenditure.

● Disclosure norms and requirements.

● State funding of elections.

These recommendations of the Law Commission are under consideration of the government.

ECI Committee on Expenditure Limit
ECI Committee on Expenditure Limit
ECI Committee on Expenditure Limit
ECI Committee on Expenditure Limit