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EC renews plea to RBI for higher cash withdrawals

EC expresses "serious concern about the cursory manner in which the issue has been dealt with"

January 29, 2017 05:17 pm | Updated December 03, 2021 12:46 pm IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the decision to demonetise Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes on November 8, 2016.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the decision to demonetise Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes on November 8, 2016.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has turned down the Election Commission’s request to enhance the cash withdrawal limit for nominated candidates in the five poll-bound States, from ₹24,000 to ₹2 lakh per week, till the declaration of results on March 11.

Asking the RBI to reconsider, the EC on Saturday again wrote to it expressing serious concerns “about the cursory manner in which this issue has been dealt with and it appears that the RBI has not realised the gravity of the matter.”

 

The Commission reiterated that in order to facilitate proper conduct of elections, it was imperative that its directions were complied with.

“In this context, the ECI had desired that the current limit on cash withdrawal for candidates for the coming elections may be enhanced in order to ensure that the candidates are able to defray election expenditure up to the statutory limits.”

It had earlier written to the RBI stating that it had been told about the problems being faced by the candidates from different political parties, particularly in the rural areas, due to imposition of limits on withdrawal of cash from banks. As per the EC directive, each candidate has to open a separate bank account.

All receipts and payments of the candidates during the election process have to be routed through that account.

The EC pointed out that the entire election process lasted only three to four weeks and therefore, the total amount that could be withdrawn would be only ₹96,000, “as against the statutory limit of expenditure of ₹28 lakh in Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, and ₹20 lakh in Manipur and Goa, as fixed by the Central government on February 28, 2014.”

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