Monday, March 30, 2009

Election Funding

The official spending limit for a lok sabha candidate is Rs 25 lakhs, and for constituency candidate is Rs 15 lakhs. However, in practice, much more may be spent : Rs 10-15 Crores for Loksabha candidate and Rs 2-6 Crores for an Assembly candidate (according to Hindu Article : see below). This amount may be doubling every 5 years.

The biggest head (65-75%) in the expenditure seems to be 'buying voters', including liquor expenses. Other "major heads of poll spending are: engaging at least 2,000 active men for campaigning, poll management and counting; hiring or purchasing, and maintaining, vehicles; organising publicity material; opening village-level offices; preparing and distributing voter slips; fetching electors to polling stations; getting star speakers and picking up the tab for their travel, lodging and boarding; and other miscellaneous expenditure"

Hindu : Unofficial cost of fighting elections

Donations to political parties are exempt of Income Tax. There are several dummy political parties which do not engage politically but use the party status for tax savings. Election Commission cannot derecognise political parties, though they requested that this power be given to them. As a result, there may be 100s of disfunctional registered political parties in India today.

Many politicians are very rich, with assets work many crores !

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