The Election Commission on Wednesday asked the Reserve Bank of India to enhance the weekly cash withdrawal limit of candidates contesting polls in five states to Rs 2 lakh from the existing Rs 24,000.
These limits were imposed by the central bank following demonetisation drive announced by PM Modi on November 8.
In its letter to the RBI, the EC mentioned that the existing cap makes it difficult for candidates to meet their campaign expenditure.
It said the returning officer of the constituency will issue certificate that the person is a candidate and should be allowed to withdraw Rs 2 lakh cash per week from the bank account opened specially to meet electioneering expenses.
The EC said the facility be extended till March 11, the day of counting.
Candidates have to open an election account for meeting poll-related expenditure which is monitored by the EC.
Candidates contesting assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Punjab can spend Rs 28 lakh for electioneering. The limit in Goa and Manipur is Rs 20 lakh.
The poll panel said despite paying amounts through cheques, candidates still need hard cash for petty expenses. Also the “issue is further adversely affected” in rural areas where banking facilities are “negligible”.
(With inputs from PTI)