New Delhi, March 11 IANS | 8 months ago

Government expenditure per elector has gone up 20 times since the first Lok Sabha polls in 1951, according to figures compiled by the Election Commission.

This is the amount that goes for making arrangements for voting across the country.

In the first elections, the government spent 60 paise on an elector. That amount increased to Rs.12 in the 2009 elections.

In absolute terms, Rs.10.45 crore was spent in 1951-52 whereas Rs.846.67 crore was the amount the government spent in 2009.

Cost-wise, the 2004 general elections were the costliest on the government exchequer with about Rs.1,114 crore spent.

In these elections, per elector cost was also the highest at Rs.17.

The Election Commission figures show that in the first six general elections, cost per elector was less than a rupee, but the later polls saw a rapid growth in expenditure.

"Keeping devaluation of money owing to inflation into account, the rise in cost could be attributed to increased level of democratic activities," the commission said in a statement.

The cost is expected to rise further in this year's elections.

"Various voter-friendly initiatives like voter awareness campaigns, distribution of voter slips ahead of the election date and use of Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) system for the first time this year may increase expenditure further but these efforts are focussed at strengthening the very structure and values of democracy," the commission said.

While the entire expenditure on the actual conduct of elections to the Lok Sabha is borne by the central government, expenditure for law and order maintenance is borne by the respective state governments.

(Posted on 11-03-2014)

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