New Delhi: A Group of Ministers set up to suggest ways to deal with corruption today deliberated upon on the question of state funding of elections, an issue on which the Election Commission and the government hold opposite views.
The discussion on state-funding of polls came after the GoM had asked the law ministry to formulate a concrete proposal on constitutional and statutory amendments required to introduce reforms relating to this issue.
This was the first meeting of the GoM held under the chairmanship of Defence Minister AK Antony. Earlier, Pranab Mukherjee as finance minister used to head the GoM.
Three members of the GoM including Home Minister P Chidambaram, Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister M Alagiri and Railways Minister Mukul Roy could not attend the meeting today due to their engagements outside Delhi.
Members who attended the meeting included Law Minister Salman Khurshid, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal, Corporate Affairs Minister M Veerappa Moily and Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office V Narayansamy.
The law ministry plans to hold an all-party meeting on electoral reforms in the coming days in which the issue of state funding of elections could also come up.
In an effort to rationalise ceiling of expenses in elections, government had last year enhanced the poll expenditure of candidates to Rs 40 lakh for parliamentary constituencies and Rs 16 lakh for assembly seats.
Prior to that, the maximum limit for parliamentary constituencies was Rs 25 lakh and Rs 10 lakh for assembly seats.