Excess expenditure due to additional deployment of personnel

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Kolkata, Apr 1 (UNI) District Magistrates of Bardhaman, Birbhum and West Midnapur had engaged excess number of polling personnel for May 2006 Assembly elections, incurring excess expenditure of Rs 36.88 lakh, according to a report.

According to the Comptroller and Audior General's (CAG) report laid in the state Assembly last week, an audit scrutiny of the records of the DMs of Bardhaman, Birbhum and West Midnapur conducted between March and June 2007, showed that in violation of the Election Commission's directives, the DMs of Bardhaman and Birbhum had selected 45 per cent and 30 per cent as reserve personnel respectively, as against the recommended 20 per cent. As a result, an excess of Rs 24.05 lakh was spent by Bardhaman district administration and an excess of Rs 7.74 lakh was spent in Birbhum.

Meanwhile, West Midnapore DM had engaged 923 polling personnel in excess of requirement, incurring an additional expenditure of Rs 5.09 lakh.

The Election Commission had formulated the policy for randomisation of polling personnel for the West Bengal Assembly Elections in 2006. According to the policy, polling personnel were to be selected, trained and exchanged among the different sub-divisions within any district.

The policy also included allowing not more than 20 per cent reserve polling personnel in any category for the purpose.

The matter was reported to the state government in May 2007 and September 2007, to which no reply has been received so far, the CAG report said.

UNI LL ADG GL BD1138

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