The Election Commission will spend around Tk 40 crore for holding the Dhaka city polls on January 30, almost double the amount spent in the previous elections in 2015.
Nearly half of the amount will be spent on the law enforcement agencies, including the police and Rapid Action Battalion, said EC officials.
Election Commission Senior Secretary M Alamgir said, “We have finalised the budget for the polls to Dhaka north and south city corporations.”
The finance ministry has already approved the budget proposal, he told The Daily Star.
Alamgir said the budget for this year’s elections went up due as the EC had to arrange mock voting to show the voters how to use an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) and had to carry out campaigns regarding the machine.
Besides, the presiding officers, assistant presiding officers, and polling officers will have higher payments this year compared to those of the last election, he added.
The EC budget wing officials said each presiding officer would get Tk 4,000, assistant presiding officer Tk 3,000 and polling officer Tk 2,000. In 2015, the commission had paid such officers Tk 3,000, Tk 2,000 and Tk 1,000 respectively.
They said around Tk 20 crore will be spent for holding the polls to each of the two city corporations. An allocation will be kept aside for training of polls officials.
The EC for the first time will use EVMs at all the polling centres in the two city corporations. For this, the EC will need 35,000 machines. Two army men will be deployed at each polling centre for providing technical assistance to the polls officials on operating the EVMs.
According to the EC, the two city corporations have over 54.02 lakh voters -- 30.35 lakh in DNCC and 23.67 lakh in DSCC.
A total of 7,516 polling booths will be set up at 1,349 voting centres in the DNCC area. There will be 5,998 polling booths at 1,124 polling centres in the DSCC area.
About 4,3015 polling officials will carry out their duties on the polling day.
Meanwhile, the EC will hold a meeting with the law enforcement agencies on January 22 to discuss law and order ahead of the January 30 polls. The police, Rab, Border Guard Bangladesh and Ansar and VDP will place their demands at the meeting.
According to a primary estimation, 25,000 police, 35,000 Ansar and 1,000 APBN members will be deployed on the election day.