In a bid to check excess flow of money in electioneering, the Election Commission (EC) has lowered the limit of cash transactions by candidates for campaigning purposes from Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 10,000 per day.
In an instruction sent to all chief electoral officers, the poll panel said that for transactions beyond Rs 10,000, the candidates and parties will have to make payment using cross cheques, drafts or electronic means, including NEFT/RTGS, through the account of the candidate opened for electioneering.
In April, 2011, the EC had set the daily cash limit to Rs. 20,000. But now it has been revised keeping in mind the amendments in section 40A(3) of the Income Tax Act in 2017.
The new changes came into being from November 12 and would have a bearing on assembly polls in Chhattisgarh, Mizoram, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Now, a candidate cannot receive a donation or loan in cash, in excess of Rs. 10,000 from a single person or entity during campaigning.
EC has been pushing for greater transparency in election-related expenditure by parties and candidates.
Like individuals, there should be a ceiling on expenditure made by political parties during polls, according to a 2015 Election Commission draft document based on the ‘general agreement’ among participants.
At present, while there is a ceiling on campaigning fund for individual candidates in electoral fray, there is no such cap on the money which political parties can spend for electioneering.