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India may spend Rs 10,000 cr on elections!
February 27, 2009 15:24 IST
Last Updated: February 27, 2009 15:42 IST
India will see a staggering Rs 10,000 crore (Rs 100 billion), equivalent to the foreign direct investment it received in 1995-96, being spent on the Lok Sabha polls this summer, with a fourth of the amount expected to be splurged on voters.
In such harsh times, the spend on the elections, although necessary, could well hurt the economy further. The official spending is likely to be about 20 per cent of the total expenses, including about Rs 1,300 crore (Rs 13 billion) by the Election Commission, and the rest by political parties in campaigning, says a survey by Centre for Media Studies (CMS).
Global rating agency Standard and Poor's has already warned that it would cut India's rating to junk unless it gets its spending under control. The Indian economy grew by 5.3 per cent in the third quarter, the slowest quarterly growth this fiscal.
An amount of Rs 2,000-2,500 crore (Rs 20-25 billion) would be spent in form of "unofficial money" or cash paid to the voters.
Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka may top the list of states trying to purchase votes, with nearly half of voters there likely to be paid "cash for vote" about 24 hours before the polling day, said the election expenditure survey by CMS.
The Election Commission is likely to spend Rs 1,300 crore (Rs 13 billion), while state governments and other government agencies, for purposes like photo identity cards, EVMs and polling booth, are expected to spend about Rs 700 crore (Rs 7 billion).
Various political parties are expected to spend about Rs 1,650 crore (Rs 16.50 billion) from their party funds, in addition to the direct and indirect spending by the individual candidates.
Candidates of the national parties are estimated to incur a bill of Rs 4,350 crore (Rs 43.50 billion), while those from the regional parties are expected to spend another Rs 1000 crore (Rs 10 billion).