Govt releases Rs5b for federal, provincial pollsThe Finance Ministry has provided the Election Commission with Rs5 billion for the preparations of federal and provincial elections scheduled for November 26 and December 7.
The Finance Ministry has provided the Election Commission with Rs5 billion for the preparations of federal and provincial elections scheduled for November 26 and December 7.
The EC had demanded more than Rs10 billion. “We will be ready to provide additional amount if the EC seeks,” said Kewal Prasad Bhandari, chief of the budget division at the ministry.
As the EC is holding federal and provincial elections together, expenditure are expected to run relatively higher compared to earlier elections considering the requirements of more ballot papers and temporary police personnel, among others.
The EC, which printed around 16 million ballot papers for the local elections, is now printing over 34 million ballot papers for the upcoming polls. The government has hired 98,000 temporary police personnel for the upcoming elections. A total of 70,000 temporary police were deployed during the local level elections.
For the local elections, the EC had spent around Rs8 billion while Finance Ministry had released around Rs12 billion for the security agencies.
The government has allocated Rs35 billion for provincial, federal parliamentary elections and the elections of the National Assembly in the current fiscal year.
More than Rs 2 billion from that budget was spent for the local elections that were held in three phases.
Election expenditure has been on the rise in the recent years. As much as Rs4.26 billion was spent for the Constituent Assembly (CA) elections in 2013, excluding security expenses. Four years earlier, around Rs16 billion was spent for holding the CA elections including expenses for security. Rs 5.15 billion was spent for the first CA elections in 2008, with security arrangements accounting for as much as Rs2.15 billion.