Lok Sabha elections 2019: From samosas to SUVs, Ghaziabad fixes rates for election spend
To keep a check on the election expenditure incurred by a candidate, the Ghaziabad district administration has made a list of various items used in the exercise with a price. After an exhaustive market survey, officials have rolled out the list in which rates of different items, from a glass of mineral water to snacks to the travel by SUVs and luxury cars, have been clearly mentioned.
The officials said that the maximum expenditure limit for a candidate is Rs 70 lakh in this election. To determine the expenditure, the officials carried out a market survey and have priced eatables like samosa/bread pakora at Rs 10 per piece, balushai at Rs 200 per kg, and kaju barfi at Rs 750 per kg. Besides, the administration has also fixed the prices of fruits like apples at ₹100/kg and guava/banana at ₹50 per dozen.
“Almost all candidates perform puja and set up camp offices. These too have been priced. Service of a priest per occasion is priced at Rs 1,100, a coconut at Rs 20, while incense sticks and kalawa (holy thread tied around wrist) are also priced at ₹10 and Rs 3, respectively. We have ensured that none of the items which can be used during campaigning is left out for determining the expenditure,” said an officer.
The candidates also make use of vehicles like cars, SUVs and even buses for road shows and rallies. Cars starting from Maruti 800 to SUVs and deluxe buses have been priced anything between Rs 1,000 to Rs 10,000 with a minimum rate for 200km and additional charges per km depending on whether AC or non-AC vehicles are used.
The travel and campaign by other high-end vehicles like Mercedes, Pajero, Fortuner, etc too have been priced. Such vehicles carry a basic travel fare of Rs 8,000 to Rs 12,000 for a minimum of 200km along with extra charges beyond the limit and night charges. “The list carries rates of almost all possible items which can be used during campaigns. A video surveillance team will accompany the candidates during campaigns after they get permission for holding rallies or campaigns. The team will record entire proceedings and submit the video clips to us,” said Sunil Kumar, additional district magistrate (finance & revenue).