Ahead of Assembly polls in five states, the Election Commission on Thursday increased expenditure limit for candidates. The ceiling on spending in poll campaigns has been increased for both Lok Sabha and Assembly constituencies and the revised limit will be applicable in the upcoming state elections in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur.

In a press note, the Election Commission said that the expenditure limit for candidates in Assembly constituencies has been raised to Rs 40 lakh from Rs 28 lakh in large states, and to Rs 28 lakh from Rs 20 lakh in small states.

In the case of Lok Sabha constituencies the limit has been enhanced to Rs 95 lakh from Rs 70 lakh in large states, and to Rs 75 lakh from Rs 54 lakh in small states.

The decision was notified by the Union Ministry of Law and Justice on the recommendations of a three-member commitee. The panel had been formed in 2020 after the Election Commission had raised the expenditure limit by 10%.

However, the last major revision in the ceiling on candidates’ spending was done in 2014, the Election Commission said in its press note.

“The committee invited suggestions from political parties, chief electoral officers and election observers,” the Election Commission noted. “The committee found that there has been increase in number of electors and Cost Inflation Index since 2014 substantially. It also factored into the changing modes of campaigning, which is gradually shifting to virtual campaign.”

The three-member committee took into consideration that the number of voters had gone up 12.23% from 83.4 crore in 2014 to 93.6 crore in 2021. Meanwhile, the cost inflation index had risen 32.08% from 240 in 2014 to 317 in 2021, the Election Commission noted.