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Tk 700cr needed to arrange election: EC

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UNB, Dhaka :
The Election Commission (EC), now awfully busy to hold the 11th national election, says it will require an amount of Tk 700 crore to arrange polls, which is more than double than that of the 10th general election.
The Commission has recently approved the allocation of Tk 700 crore for the upcoming parliamentary polls likely to be held in late December.
Of the total expenditure, EC officials said, about Tk 400 will be spent on maintaining the law and order while the remaining Tk 300 crore on conducting the election as per the EC's estimate.
In the 2014 general election, they said, the nation spent Tk 283 crore, including Tk 200 crore on maintaining the law and order and Tk 83 on conducting the election in 147 constituencies as the rest 153 constituencies went uncontested.
The EC on will announce schedule for the 11th national election Thursday next. The EC has a constitutional obligation to complete the election between by January 28 next.
The polls will be held through some 40,199 possible polling stations across the country. Alongside the law enforcers, some seven lakh polls-conducting personnel, including 40,199 presiding  
officers, some 80,000 assistant presiding officers and five to six lakh polling officers, will be required to arrange the countrywide election.
Of the allocated Tk 300 crore for conducting the next election, Tk 160 will be spent on the seven lakh polls-conducting personnel and Tk 30 crore on printing ballot papers for 300 constituencies across the country, the EC officials said.
Besides, Tk 10 crore will be spent on procurement of other printing materials and Tk 8 crore on procurement of stamp pads, different types of seals and ink.
EC Secretary Helaluddin Ahmed said the Election Commission has approved the sector-wise allocation of Tk 700 crore for conducting the national election and maintaining the law and order.
Some 10.42 crore voters under the country's 300 parliamentary constituencies are expected to cast their votes in the election to pick the leaders of their choice.
In the 2014 general election, the election cost was only Tk 283 crore as the EC did not have to go for balloting in 153 constituencies. The number of country's voters was some 9.19 crore during the 10thgeneral election.
"But this time the cost will be more than double as the EC will have to arrange balloting in 300 constituencies across the country," said an official wishing to remain unnamed.
He said the total expenditure was Tk 165.50 crore in the 9th general election, while Tk 72.71 crore in the 8th national election.
The expenditure for conducting the first parliamentary elections held in 1973 was only Tk 81.36 lakh when the number of voters was only 3.52 crore.
According to statistics provided by the EC officials, the nation had spent Tk 2.52 crore in the 2nd national election, while Tk 5.16 crore in the 3rd election, Tk 5.15 crore in the 4th election, Tk 24.37 crore in the 5th election and Tk 37.04 crore in the 6th general election.

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