The Election Commission has placed orders estimated at more than Rs 300 crore with Electronics Corporation of India Ltd and Bharat Electronics Ltd to deliver EVMs for the Lok Sabha elections.
“The Election Commission needs 16 lakh EVMs for the Lok Sabha elections to be held in April and May. We placed order for 2.5 lakh controlling units and around 4 lakh ballot units with ECIL Hyderabad and BEL, Bangalore, on a 50-50 basis,” a commission official said, adding that delivery is expected to be completed by the month-end.
Each electronic voting machine (EVM) consists of one controlling unit and one ballot unit. Although the price is yet to be fixed by the Ministry of Finance, the orders were placed with a tentative tag of Rs 10,500 per EVM. “The price will be fixed by the Finance Ministry. The Law Ministry will have to send a request to the Finance Ministry.
The price the EC said was tentative,” the official said, adding that 30 per cent of the total order has already been supplied to the EC. ECIL confirmed it received orders for 1.91 lakh ballot units and 1.25 lakh controlling units and said it is fully geared up to supply them before March end.
The PSU has supplied 7.4 lakh EVMs to the EC since its introduction in the poll process. Announcing the Lok Sabha poll schedule on Wednesday, Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath said voters will have the option of not voting for any of the candidates. Each EVM will have a None of the Above (NOTA) button for electors to use if they don’t want to vote for any of the contestants.