New Delhi: The Lok Sabha elections, due next year, may give the much-needed boost to the national economy. According to industry organisations, the elections may lead to the pumping of around Rs 15,000 crores into the economy.
According to ASSOCHAM, it will give a fillip to economic growth and help small businesses grow. The transport, hospitality, aviation, printing and social media sectors can expect big business.
Serious candidates will spend Rs 6 crore on canvassing
ASSOCHAM estimates that serious candidates would spend around Rs 6 crore each on campaigning in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. If, on an average, there are four such candidates in each constituency, around Rs 24 crore will be spent by them. The government spends an average of Rs 2.5-3 crore per constituency on conducting elections. Thus, a total of Rs 28-30 crores per seat is likely to be spent. Multiply it with 543 (the number of Lok Sabha seats) and the figure comes to Rs 15,000 crores.
Inflation too will rise
SP Sharma, economist at the PhD Chambers of Commerce, says, that the pumping of thousands of crores into the economy will boost businesses but it would also increase inflation. Pinaki Chakraborty, member of the Advisory Board of the Finance Commission, says that in election years, the government’s fiscal deficit tends to increase because of more expenditure on subsidies and populist schemes.
Expected spending on four major sectors:
Private Airlines: Rs 400-450 crores
According to private airlines operators, they expect Rs 400-450 crore to be funneled into aviation. For some perspective, an hour of helicopter flight costs Rs 1 lakh, while it costs Rs 3.5-4 lakh per hour to hire a jet plane.
Catering: Rs 500 crores
Anil Bhardwaj, general secretary of the Federation of Small & Medium Industries, says that the business of catering, tents, flags, and banners may fetch business worth Rs 500 crores.
Transport: Rs 1,800 crores
Ajay Pathak, a member of All India Motor Congress, says that Rs 1,800 crore are expected to be spent on transportation.
Social Media: Rs 500-600 crore
According to a report by the independent IRIS Knowledge Foundation, in 2014, the BJP spent Rs 150 crores on social media, while the Congress spent Rs 100 crores. In the 2019 elections, it is expected that social media expenditure by all political parties will be up to Rs 500-600 crores.
Apart from these expenditures, the political parties are also going to spend on rallies and public meetings. Rs 325 crores is expected to be spent on renting vehicles across the 543 seats.
500 big rallies
Close to 500 big rallies are expected to be held in the election year. Rs 1.2 crore will be spent on an average of 1,000 buses used to mobilise people for each rally. This takes the total expenditure to rs 600 crore. Another Rs 625 crore will be spent on hiring 5,000 cars. An average Rs 50 lakh will be spent on party workers travelling by trains. In this way, in 500 rallies, Rs 250 crores is expected to be spent.
Per voter cost has grown 68 times in 62 years
In 1952, the total expenditure on conduct of Lok Sabha elections was Rs 10.45 crores (60 paisa per voter). The 2014 elections were the most expensive to date with a total spending of Rs 3,426 crores (Rs 41 per voter)
Source: RBI, EC, Indian Economy Handbook
Story: Rajiv Kumar and Mukesh Kaushik
Inputs: Pawan Kumar and Sharad Pandey