Election expenses may exceed Rs49 billion

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has estimated that its expenditure for the general elections 2024 will exceed Rs49 billion mainly because of more expenses to be incurred on providing foolproof security at the polling stations.

The ECP will establish 92,500 polling stations across the country for the voting on February 8, 2024. These polling stations have been categorised into A, B, and C groups, determined by their sensitivity levels, official sources said.

The ECP has categorised over 17,500 polling stations as highly sensitive, and 32,508 as sensitive, while the remaining 42,500 as normal. The highly sensitive polling stations have been designated mainly because of concerns over potential unrest.

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Among the highly sensitive polling stations, 6,599 are in Punjab and 4,430 in Sindh – which would be monitored by CCTV cameras – 2,038 in Balochistan and 4,344 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P). Among the sensitive polling stations, 15,829 are in Punjab, 8,030 in Sindh, 2,068 in Balochistan, and 6,000 in K-P.

The ECP demanded Rs47 billion of the federal government for the general election, which is being provided to it in a phased manner. However, the expenses are likely to exceed Rs49 billion due to increase in expenses on transportation and other security-related arrangements.

In view of the security concerns and the border situation, the police, rangers, army and other law-enforcement agencies have demanded another Rs3.5 billion in their expenses. According to sources, only the Punjab police have demanded Rs1.19 billion for the general duties.



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