Cabinet clears procurement of 16.15 lakh voter-verifiable paper audit trail machines
The decision comes in the wake of growing demands from opposition parties for holding all future elections using paper trail machines along with EVMs, to clear doubts about votes cast
The Cabinet today approved Election Commission’s proposal of buying Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines, a move that will enable the voters to know whether their vote has been correctly registered or not.
The Centre will have to shell out 3,173.43 crore during 2017-18 and 2018-19 to procure 16.15 lakh VVPAT machines, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said today.
“According to the Election Commission, 16.15 lakh more machines will be required. These machines are manufactured by state-owned Bharat Electronics Ltd and Electronics Corporation of India. If these 16.15 lakh machines are ordered in April 2017, it will be delivered by September, 2018,” Jaitley said.
The government will disburse Rs 1,600 crore in the current financial year 2016-17, while the balance amount will be funded in 2018-19, he added.
The decision will enable the Election Commission of India to deploy VVPAT units in all polling booths in the General Elections, 2019, which will act as an additional layer of transparency for the satisfaction of voters, allaying any apprehension in the minds of the voters as to the fidelity and integrity of the EVMs, the government said in a release.VVPAT device functions like a printer that is attached to the ballot unit and kept inside the voting compartment. When the voter presses the button against the name of the candidate of his choice on the Ballot Unit, the VVPAT unit generates a paper slip, called Ballot Slip. This paper slip contains the name, serial number and symbol of the chosen candidate. The voter can see this slip through a screened window where it stays for seven seconds, and then it automatically gets cut and falls down into a sealed drop box. In this process, the slip will not go into the hands of the voter nor will others be able to see it.