Home Bangladesh EC sought Tk 1,000cr for security deployment
Bangladesh - November 13, 2023

EC sought Tk 1,000cr for security deployment

Staff Correspondent: Approximately 650,000 members of law enforcement agencies are slated to fulfill their duties during the upcoming 12th National Assembly elections, according to a draft submitted to the Election Commission (EC) by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
A substantial part of the election budget, amounting to more than Tk1,000 crores, has been requested to cover the expenses associated with security force deployment.
The breakdown of the law-and-order forces reveals that 101,000 policemen, along with 446,000 Ansar men and 41,000 members of the Village Defence Party (VDP), will be on duty.
Additionally, 2,210 platoons from various forces, totaling 66,300 members, will be responsible for ensuring the smooth conduct of the elections.
These platoons comprise 1,106 from the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), 42 from the Coast Guard, 600 from the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), 414 from the Army, and 48 from the Navy, as reported by EC sources.
The EC anticipates increased expenses not only in maintaining law and order but also in managing the election process itself.
Notably, the polling allowances for approximately 900,000 presiding, assistant presiding, and polling officers are set to be doubled compared to the last election, along with an additional 1,000 taka each for travel.
The expenses for polling officer allowances alone have surged by Tk280 crore compared to the previous election, contributing to a total estimated expenditure of over Tk2,300 crore for the 12th National Assembly elections.
However, some EC officials, wishing to remain anonymous, said that it is uncommon to allocate the full funds demanded from law enforcement agencies. Historically, the allocation has been contingent on factors such as the number of force members deployed and the duration of their deployment during the election period.
Nevertheless, the EC aims to extend police patrolling in the field up to 15 days post-polling, contributing to the overall increase in law-and-order expenses.
EC cautious
The complexity of this election scenario, involving 39 political parties, has prompted the EC to be particularly vigilant.
Intelligence agencies have conveyed concerns about a potential deterioration in the election environment, citing election programs by some political parties as a cause for worry.
The need for heightened security measures, especially if major parties like BNP or Jamaat abstain from participating, and the potential escalation of internal conflicts within the ruling Awami League have been identified as key challenges.
EC officials clarify that the budget for national elections is traditionally divided into three sectors: law enforcement, election management, and election training.
Typically, the law-and-order sector receives double the budget compared to the election management sector.
However, this year’s election budget is unique, with almost equal allocations for both law and order and election management.
To account for inflation and an increase in polling stations and rooms, the EC has decided to raise the allocation rate in approximately 200 sectors and sub-sectors related to elections.
The number of polling stations and booths has risen to 42,000 and 260,000, respectively. The increased number of polling station and booths require around 900,000 polling officers and a corresponding increase in law enforcers for polling station security.
Budget allocation for forces
Regarding the financial demands from various law enforcement agencies, the police have requested Tk430.25 crore, an increase from Tk424 crore in the last election.
Ansar and VDP have sought Tk366.12 crore, compared to Tk242.80 crore in the previous election.
The BGB has asked for Tk145.87 crore, up from Tk78.42 crore, while RAB has requested Tk50.63 crore, an increase from Tk22.12 crore.
The Coast Guard’s demand stands at Tk78.62 crore, significantly higher than the Tk25 crore allocated in the last election.
The armed forces’ demand has yet to be disclosed.
Double money for polling officers
A noteworthy change in this election is the decision to double the allowances for polling officers.
In the last election, presiding officers received Tk4,000 for a day’s work, while they will now receive two days’ allowance, amounting to Tk8,000.
Similarly, assistant presiding officers will receive Tk6,000, and polling officers will be entitled to Tk4,000 this time.

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