New Delhi, 26 January: The Election Commission has requested the Reserve Bank of India to increase the weekly cash withdrawal limit of election candidates contesting polls in five states to Rs 2 lakh from the Rs 24,000 imposed post demonetization.
The EC has pointed out that it would help them meet their campaign expenditure. The Commission told RBI Governor Urjit Patel that reportedly candidates are facing a lot of trouble due to withdrawal limitation at banks.
Demanding the extension of withdrawal limit till March 11, the day of counting, EC has also rolled out a plan for easing the process. The commission has said that the returning officer of the constituency will issue certificate that the person is a candidate and he or she be allowed to withdraw Rs 2 lakh cash per week from the bank account opened specially to meet electioneering expenses.
EC would monitor the accounts that are open for meeting poll-related expenditure only.
The Commission reminded the Central bank that as per the law, candidates contesting assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Punjab can spend Rs 28 lakh for electioneering, while the limit is 20 lakh for Goa and Manipur.
Presently however, with a weekly withdrawal restriction of Rs 24,000, a candidate is able to withdraw Rs 96,000 in cash. The campaign will last for 3 to 4 week and RBI should make the cash available thus.
Despite using digital modes of payment, the EC said candidates still need hard cash for petty expenses. Also “issue is further adversely effected” in rural areas where banking facilities are “negligible” said EC.