Election Commission estimates local-level elections to cost Rs 12 billion

NL Today

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Kathmandu: The Election Commission has estimated a budget of around Rs 10-12 billion to hold local-level elections. Election Commission’s office-bearers briefed Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba regarding the estimated expenditure during a meeting on Tuesday.

Over Rs eight billion was spent in the earlier local polls held in 2017. The election body said that a 30 percent increment in the earlier budget has been estimated as most of the election expenses will be spent on salaries and allowances and other facilities to the personnel to be deployed in the elections.

During the meeting with the Prime Minister, the Election Commission agreed to hold local polls in a single phase on May 18. The commission said that the estimated expenditure will increase further if polls are held in more than one phase.

The commission said that around two million voters have been added after the latest polls. The budget will increase in the same proportion for polling stations and booths and ballot papers, the commission estimates. The Commission states that expenditure will increase due to the need for additional materials and manpower to make voter education technology-friendly, comprehensive, and effective.

Similarly, the commission said that budget will be required for mobilizing health workers and managing health supplies to comply with health safety protocols.