Workshop on election expenditure monitoring held at Kohima

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Dimapur, March 10: A briefing cum workshop on Election Expenditure Monitoring (EEM) was held with representatives of all recognized political parties and media personnel at DPDB’s conference hall on March 6.
Nodal Officer for Election Expenditure Monitoring, Vineet Kumar, IAS, Assistant Commissioner highlighted on the important issues to be adhered by the political parties and its candidates and also the role of media during the election process. Besides, the register of election expenditure and maintaining of account, he highlighted on the major legal provisions related to election expenditure monitoring such as Representation of People’s Act 1951; Conduct of Election Rules, 1961; India Penal Code, 1860 and Instructions on Election Expenditure Monitoring.
He also spoke on the importance of separate bank account of a candidate or join account with election agent (not with family members), where he stated that the bank account can be opened at least one day before the date of filling of nomination. All amount meant for election should be deposited in this account for expenditure, all expenditure above Rs. 10,000 to be paid through a/c payee cheque and all donations from single person/entity during election process in excess of Rs. 10,000 should be received by a/c payee cheque or draft or account transfer only.
On media related matter, Kumar said that the Election Commission of India is giving lot of emphasis on role of media as media plays a critical role not only for the conduct of free and fair election but also makes the task of the election machinery easier. Highlighting on the District Media Certification and Monitoring Committee (MCMC), he said that MCMC has been constituted in the District and State level to monitor all the paid news of a candidate and political parties which will be accounted in his account or party account. He said for pre-certification, all political advertisements appearing in electronic media has to be pre-certified by the MCMC while advertisement in print media on poll day and one day before the polling also needs to be pre-certified.
On social media, Kumar said that social media also comes under the purview of certification where expenditure on advertisement on social media is to be included in the final statement of expenditure. Political advertisement in e-paper requires pre-certification while content in form of messages/photos comments/videos/blogs/self accounts on website is not treated as political advertisement which does not require pre-certification, he added. He further stressed on the role of media for constructive and positive role, wide publicity for citizens awareness, important role in conducting clean election, “eyes and ears” for MCC violation and to maintain ethical reporting. (Page News Service)