Cabinet Clears EC’s Proposal to Buy New Paper Trail Machines

VVPAT will dispense a slip which will be displayed for seven seconds. 

1 min read

Polling officials collecting Electronic Voting Machines. (Photo: PTI)

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday cleared the Election Commission’s proposal to buy new Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley confirmed that Rs 3,173 crore has been approved to acquire 16.15 lakh new VVPATs

The VVPAT machine dispenses a slip with the symbol of the party for which a person has voted for.

With the new EVM machines, the voters will see voter-verifiable paper audit trail slip for seven seconds, which would serve as a receipt for voter, to acknowledge the party they voted for in the election.

The Supreme Court has also asked the commission to give a tentative timeframe by which it can use VVPAT machines in all polling stations.

The BSP, the AAP and the Congress had attacked the EC for allegedly using "tampered" EVMs. Sixteen parties had recently petitioned the EC to revert to the paper ballot system for greater transparency.

So far, the Cabinet has cleared two tranches, of Rs 1,009 crore and Rs 9,200, for the Election Commission to buy new EVMs.

Since June 2014, however, the commission has given at least 11 reminders to the government seeking funds for VVPAT machines.

Last year, Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi drawing his attention to the funds needed for the machines.

(With inputs from PTI, ANI)

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