The Election Commission on Wednesday said it had set up a committee “to examine the issues concerning expenditure limit for a candidate in view of the increase in number of electors and rise in the Cost Inflation Index and other factors.”
The expenditure limit for Lok Sabha and Assembly candidates is ₹70 lakh and ₹28 lakh respectively, but on Monday the Law Ministry has approved a 10% hike for the COVID-19 period.
The committee, comprising former IRS officer and Director General (Investigation) Harish Kumar and Secretary General and DG (Expenditure) Umesh Sinha, would submit its report within 120 days of its constitution, an EC statement said.
The expenditure limit for a candidate was last revised in 2014, and for Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, it was revised in 2018, the EC said.
“In last six years the limit was not increased despite increase in electorate from 834 million to 910 million in 2019 to 921 million now. Further, the Cost Inflation Index during this period has increased from 220 to 280 in 2019 to 301 now,” the EC said.
The committee’s terms of reference will include assessment of the change in the number of electors and its bearing on spending, assessment of the change in the Cost Inflation Index and to examine other factors that may impact the expenditure.