ECI Issues Comprehensive Guidelines on Poll Duty Remuneration and Allowances

No. 464/INST/EPS/2023/Remuneration & TA/DA dated June 6, 2023 06.06.2023, 17.11.2023 Payment of Remuneration and TA/DA to personnel deployed for election related duties
No. 464/INST/EPS/2023/Remuneration & TA/DA dated June 6, 2023, 06.06.2023, 17.11.2023 Payment of Remuneration and TA/DA to personnel deployed for election related duties

Key Highlights

  • Remuneration is the minimum amount payable to personnel for attending training sessions, collecting polling material, and performing duties on polling and counting days.
  • The rates specified by the ECI are the mandatory minimum rates to be paid to eligible officials and staff.
  • States/UTs can pay higher remuneration rates than the ECI’s minimum recommended rates.
  • Packed lunch and/or light refreshments must be provided to all polling personnel, including police, mobile parties, and volunteers deployed at polling stations and counting centers.
  • 100% TA/DA should be paid, preferably in advance or immediately within 24 hours of duty completion. Alternatively, 80% can be paid in advance, and the remaining 20% within 30 days.
  • The expenditure on remuneration and refreshments will be borne by the respective governments (Central or State) based on the type of election.

ECI Streamlines Remuneration and Allowances for Election Staff

In a bid to eliminate ambiguity and provide clarity, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has issued a comprehensive circular consolidating and superseding all previous instructions regarding the payment of remuneration, travel allowances (TA), daily allowances (DA), and refreshments for personnel deployed on election-related duties.

The circular, bearing No. 464/INST/EPS/2023/Remuneration & TA/DA dated June 6, 2023, outlines the revised guidelines that are applicable to officials and staff requisitioned from various departments, including polling personnel, police personnel, and those deployed under Sections 26, 27, 28, 28A, 29, and 159 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

Remuneration: Minimum Rates and Flexibility

According to the circular, remuneration is the minimum amount payable to personnel for attending training sessions, collecting polling material, and performing duties on polling and counting days. The ECI has specified mandatory minimum rates of remuneration for various designated officials and staff engaged in election duties. However, States and Union Territories (UTs) have the liberty to pay higher remuneration rates than the minimum rates fixed by the ECI.

The circular emphasizes that the rates recommended by the ECI are the minimum rates to be paid mandatorily to eligible employees. States and UTs paying higher remuneration rates than the ECI’s minimum recommended rates can continue to do so.

Remuneration Rates

The circular outlines the minimum remuneration rates for various designated officials and staff engaged in election duties:

DesignationMinimum Remuneration Rate
Zonal Magistrate (if deployed, other than Sector Officer)₹1,500 lump sum
Presiding Officer & Counting Supervisor₹1,500 lump sum
Polling Officers & Counting Assistants₹1,200 lump sum
Class-IV employees₹200 per day or part thereof
Video Surveillance Team, Video Viewing Team, Accounting Team, Control Room and Call Centre Staff, Media Certification and Monitoring Committee, Flying Squads, Static Surveillance Team, Expenditure Monitoring CellClass I/II: ₹1,200 lump sum, Class-III: ₹1,000 lump sum, Class-IV: ₹200 per day or part thereof
Income Tax Inspector₹1,200 lump sum
Micro Observer₹1,000 lump sum

The circular also specifies that polling/counting personnel deployed on reserve duty should be paid remuneration at the same rates as those on actual duty. Additionally, the rates for polling officials going to polling stations in difficult terrain, where polling parties depart three days or more in advance, shall be double the normal rates.

Refreshments and Travel/Daily Allowances

Irrespective of the payment of remuneration, the circular mandates the provision of packed lunch and/or light refreshments for all polling personnel, including police personnel, personnel in mobile parties, Home Guards, Forest Guards, Gram Rakshak Dal, NCC cadets, ex-servicemen, and volunteers deployed at polling stations and counting centers for election-related work.

Regarding travel and daily allowances (TA/DA), the circular directs that all persons put on election duty should be paid 100% of the admissible TA/DA, preferably in advance or immediately within 24 hours of completing their duty. Alternatively, 80% of the TA/DA can be paid in advance, and the remaining 20% can be paid within 30 days of the election.

The circular also covers situations where officers or officials may have to appear before courts to attend judicial proceedings arising from duties performed during elections, sometimes even after retirement. In such cases, the officers or officials shall be reimbursed the amount of TA/DA incurred based on the rates admissible at the time of their retirement.

Expenditure Allocation

The expenditure on account of payment of remuneration and refreshments incurred shall be borne as follows:

  • By the Government of India during elections to the Lok Sabha (Lower House of Parliament)
  • By the respective State Governments during elections to the Legislative Assemblies
  • Shared on a 50:50 basis between the Government of India and the concerned State Governments during simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies

The payment of TA/DA shall be initially made by the parent/election department, as the case may be, of the polling/police personnel and other personnel deployed for election-related duties, and the expenditure shall be borne as per the above-mentioned manner.

Ensuring Compliance and Smooth Implementation

The ECI has directed that the revised instructions be brought to the notice of all concerned authorities immediately for compliance. By streamlining the guidelines and providing comprehensive directions, the Commission aims to ensure the smooth conduct of free, fair, and peaceful elections across the country.

The circular underscores the ECI’s commitment to upholding the democratic process and acknowledging the efforts of the vast election machinery comprising personnel from various authorities, including the Central Government, State Governments, Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), and Local Authorities.

Key Points in Brief

  • Remuneration for training, polling, and counting duties
  • Minimum rates specified by ECI, higher rates allowed
  • Packed lunch/refreshments mandatory for polling personnel
  • 100% TA/DA to be paid, preferably in advance or within 24 hours
  • Expenditure shared between Central and State govern

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