Finance Ministry releases Rs 71 million for ECP
The Finance Ministry has released Rs 71 million for the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to meet immediate expenses. The government granted the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) with a supplementary grant worth Rs5 billion on Wednesday.
Around Rs710 million from the grant have been dispatched while the rest of the money will be released next month. According to the commission's additional secretary, the Finance Ministry has assured the ECP that Rs 4 billion would provided within one month. The election commission had requested for the grant in January, maintaining that Rs0.5 billion has been allocated to the army to provide security during elections, while a major chunk of the supplementary grant, Rs1.259 billion, would be spent on polling staff expenditures. According to the breakdown of the proposed expenditures submitted by Law Minister Farooq H Naek, Rs1 billion would be spent on printing ballot papers, forms, envelopes, posters and placards; Rs450 million for publicity; Rs87.5 million for establishing improvised polling stations; Rs148 million on procurement of election material and Rs215 million on procurement and transportation of ballot boxes and voting screens.
The government spent Rs1.85 billion for the polls held in 2008, while the army was given Rs195 million for providing assistance.
Meanwhile the printing of the new nomination papers has been completed. 100,000 nomination papers have been printed and white would be used for general seats, pink for women seats and yellow for minority and reserved seats.
The process of delivering the nomination papers is expected to be completed by March 18. The Election Commission has also summoned polling schemes from provincial election commissioners and has directed that polling stations should only be set-up in government offices. The polling stations should not be at a distance of two kilometres and each polling station should not exceed 2,500 voters.