With RBI lifting restrictions on cash withdrawal limits from certain accounts, the Election Commission is set to ask candidates contesting assembly polls in five states to open current accounts and overcome the currency crunch regarding election expenses. The central bank on Monday announced lifting of daily restrictions on cash withdrawals from ATMs as well as current accounts.
The latest move comes close on the heels of the Election Commission expressing its displeasure to the RBI for rejecting the request to enhance the cash withdrawal limit for candidates to Rs 2 lakh per week. After the decision of the RBI, the Election Commission has decided to ask all candidates to open current accounts for meeting election expenses, sources said.
Such a move will help candidates to have enough hard currency as well as overcome problems faced with the existing Rs 24,000 per week cash limit set on savings accounts, the sources said. Candidates are bound to open an election account for meeting poll-related expenditure which is monitored by the EC.
Since there is no mention of any specific category of account that needs to be opened, candidates mostly opt for savings account. With the central bank putting in place limits on cash withdrawals in the wake of note ban, candidates are facing problems in meeting expenses where hard cash is required.
The directions for the candidates related to opening current accounts are likely to be issued shortly by the poll watchdog. RBI has removed all limits on cash withdrawals from current accounts/ cash credit accounts/ overdraft accounts with immediate effect. "The limits on Savings Bank accounts will continue for the present and are under consideration for withdrawal in the near future," it said.