My Republica, February 23, 2022
KATHMANDU: The Election Commission (EC) has demanded around Rs 9 billion for the conduct and management of local polls. The commission has demanded the Ministry of Finance (MoF) release Rs 8.95 billion for the local polls scheduled to be held on May 13.
As per the decision of the commission, a letter has been sent to the MoF for the release of the budget. The EC claims that Rs 8.14 billion was spent on the local polls in 2017, including material assistance. The commission has demanded Rs 810 million more than the previous election.
The EC has argued that the price hike, increment in staff salary, addition of about 3.8 million voters, polling stations, ballot papers and election materials will add to the expenses of this election. According to the spokesperson for the Election Commission, Shaligram Sharma Poudel, the election is believed to be economical, compared on the basis of the expenses that will be incurred in the management of COVID-19.
In the past, election workers were given 121 percent extra incentives apart from their regular salary. This time, it has been proposed in the budget to provide 100 percent of the salary scale to the election workers. The commission has stated that the staff working in the office within the concerned local unit will be deployed in the same local unit.
The government has set a date for holding elections in a single phase which was previously held in three phases. In the last election, Rs 806 million was spent on voter education. For this, a budget of around Rs 241.7 million has been proposed this time.