The Election Commission on Wednesday wrote to the Reserve Bank of India Governor urging that the withdrawal limit for candidates in the upcoming assembly elections to Rs.2 lakh per week against the present limit of Rs.24,000.
Every candidate is supposed to open a separate bank account and all receipts and payments during the election process has to be done only through that account.
Given the cap of Rs.24,000 on withdrawal per week post demonetisation, the candidates can withdraw only Rs.96,000 during the three to four week time before polls, against the expenditure limit of Rs.28 lakh for Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, and Rs.20 lakh for Manipu and Goa, the poll panel said.
"The Election Commission has been apprised of the problems being faced by candidates from different political parties due to imposition of limits on withdrawal of cash from banks," the Commission said in its letter.
"Even considering that part of the expenditure would be incurred through cheques, petty and recurring expenditure is generally incurred in cash," the panel said.
"The issue further compounds in rural areas where banking facilities are not available or are negligible. Therefore, it is requested that withdrawal limit for the nominated candidates, as certified by the Returning Officer of a particular constituency, may be enhances to Rs.2 lakh per week," it said.
This enhanced limit may be kept in place only until the date of declaration of results, that is March 11, 2017, the commission added.