Ahead of crucial assembly elections in five states, the Election Commission of India (ECI) announced on Thursday it has enhanced election expenditure ceiling for candidates in assembly constituencies from the existing ₹20 lakh to ₹28 lakh, and from ₹28 lakh to 40 lakh, in respective states and Union territories.
In case of parliamentary constituencies, the limit has been raised from the current ₹54 lakh to ₹75 lakh, and ₹70 lakh to ₹95 lakh, the poll panel informed, adding that these new figures will be applicable in all the upcoming elections.
— Spokesperson ECI (@SpokespersonECI) January 6, 2022
In a press related the ECI noted that the last major revision in the expenditure limit was carried out in 2014, which was further increased by 10 per cent in 2020. “Simultaneously, the ECI formed a committee to study the cost factors, and Cost Inflation Index 2014 substantially. It also factored into the changing modes of campaigning, which is gradually shifting to virtual campaign,” the statement read.
The commission further said that the committee recommended rise in expenditure limit after considering factors such as demand from political parties in this regard, increase in the number of electors from 2014 to 2021 (834 million to 936 million, up 12.23 per cent, and rise in Cost Inflation Index from 2021 to 2022 (240 to 307, up 32.07 per cent).
“The Commission accepted the recommendations and, accordingly, the revised limits have now been notified by M/O Law, Justice and Legislative Department,” the ECI said.
According to the rulebook, a candidate can spend between ₹50 lakh and ₹70 lakh, depending on the state they are contesting the Lok Sabha election from. For all states, except Arunachal Pradesh, Goa and Sikkim, a candidate can spend up to ₹70 lakh on canvassing. The cap for these three states is ₹54 lakh. For Delhi, the ceiling is ₹70 lakh and ₹54 lakh for other Union territories.
Assembly elections are due in five states: Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Two more states will poll towards the end of the year, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat.
Delegation of Jammu University Teachers’ Association calls on Lt Governor
Today, the office-bearers of the Jammu University Teachers’ Association called on Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha at Raj Bhawan.
The delegation led by the President of the Association, Prof. Pankaj Srivastava, submitted a memorandum of demands to the Lt Governor pertaining to various welfare issues of the teachers of the University including promotion under CAS; grant of earned leave and enhancement of the age of superannuation to 65 years in favour of teachers, and various other benefits as per UGC regulations, besides establishment of housing society exclusively for University teachers.
The Lt Governor, while interacting with the delegation members, advised them to make continuous efforts to create a conducive environment for learning and innovation in the University.
The Lt Governor assured them that the issues projected would be looked into meticulously for their early redressal.
JKP Border Battalion aspirants submit memorandum to Div Com Jammu
Today, a delegation of aspirants seeking recruitment in the Jammu and Kashmir Police Border Battalion called on Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Dr Raghav Langer.
The Aspirants apprised the Divisional Commissioner that they had applied for the post of Head Constable advertised by the Jammu and Kashmir Police Recruitment Board in 2019 and appeared in Physical and medical tests. But now, the JKP HQRS (police recruitment board) has reissued an advertisement notification for the recruitment of Head Constable in the border battalion.
The Aspirants demanded the withdrawal of the new advertisement issued by JKP HQRS. They further appealed to conduct the written examination of already qualified candidates and give a separate ad for more vacancies.
The Divisional Commissioner gave a patient hearing to the delegation and assured that the matter would be taken up with police authorities.
Centre extends COVID-19 restrictions till February 28
On Thursday, the Central Government extended the existing COVID-related restrictions until February 28 because of the rising COVID-19 and Omicron variants.
Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued the order directing all the states and the Union Territories (UTs) to instruct their local and district administrations to promptly take containment measures against the threat of the Omicron variant based on their assessment of the situation.
Taking evidence-based COVID-19 containment measures at the district and local level, as conveyed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), the MHA order mentioned that COVID restrictions “will remain in force till February 28, 2022.”
“In exercise of the powers, conferred under Section 10(2)(1) of the Disaster Management Act 2005, the undersigned hereby directs that the Order of the Ministry of Home Affairs’ of even number dated December 27, 2021, to ensure compliance to the normative framework for taking evidence-based COVID-19 containment measures at district and local level, as conveyed vide Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) dated December 21, 2021, will remain in force up to February 28, 2022,” the order mentioned.
According to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday, the order was issued when India logged 2,86,384 new coronavirus infections, taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 40,371,500.
As per the order, containment measures have been extended to February 28.
“Due to the current COVID wave, led by the new variant, Omicron, there has been a steady increase in the number of COVID cases in the country and the active cases have increased to over 22 lakhs. Though a majority of active cases are recovering fast and a low percentage of cases are in hospitals, it is still a matter of concern that 407 districts in 34 States and UTs are reporting a positivity rate of more than 10 per cent,” the order said.
Therefore, looking at the current trends of the COVID virus, the order said there is a need to exercise caution and vigilance.
Against this background, the order issued by Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said, “I would like to reiterate that all the states/UTs must observe all precautions and not let the guard down”.
“Based on the normative framework, mentioned in the MoHFW dated December 21, 2021, and assessment of the situation, local/district administration should continue to take prompt and appropriate containment measures.”
The order directs “imposition and lifting of local curbs or restrictions dynamic and based on the case positivity and hospitalisation status at the local level”.
It also emphasised that there should be a continued focus on the five-fold strategy– Test-Track-Treat-Vaccination and adherence to COVID Appropriate Behaviour.
“The state enforcement machinery should strictly enforce the norms of COVID Appropriate Behaviour– wearing of face masks and maintaining safe social distancing in all public areas/gatherings,” the order further reads.
Further, states and UTs are advised to continue holding regular media briefings to disseminate the right information and discourage any misinformation on new variants of concern.
It is also urged to issue necessary directions to the districts and all other local authorities concerned to take the measures required for prompt and effective management of COVID-19, strict compliance with various advisories issued by the MoHFW on the new VOC and strict enforcement of COVID Appropriate Behaviour.
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