The Centre has sought Parliament’s approval to spend an additional Rs 3,147.9 crore on the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, The Indian Express reported on Monday. Once approved, the additional funds would take the total election-related expenditure by the Ministry of Law and Justice to Rs 5,331.7 crore from the initially allocated Rs 2,183.8 crore.
Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman tabled the request during the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament as part of the supplementary demands for grants 2023-’24. Such a demand is made when funds authorised by Parliament are not adequate to meet government expenses in a given year.
The Union Budget tabled in February had allocated Rs 1,891.8 crore toward electronic voting machines, or EVMs, Rs 180 crore for “Lok Sabha elections”, Rs 18 crore for voter ID cards and Rs 94 crore for “other election expenses”.
Of the additional Rs 3,147.9 crore now sought, Rs 2,536.65 crore would be dedicated to “clearing the liability of government of India’s share towards election-related expenditure”, while around Rs 611 crore would be used to procure, test and maintain EVMs.
The Centre’s total expenditure on the general elections in 2004 was Rs 1,016 crore, Rs 1,114.3 crore in 2009 and Rs 3,870.3 crore in 2014, according to The Indian Express.