Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said yesterday he was trying his best to keep the costs for the August 5 general election below Rs.10 billion amid the challenges posed by COVID-19.
He told Daily Mirror that initially the general election was estimated to cost Rs.7 to Rs.7.5 billion but it had now shot up to Rs.9.5 billion to Rs.10 billion.
"The Commission is trying to minimize the costs as much as possible and doing our best to keep it below Rs.10 billion. But it is a difficult task as we need to provide health gear and sanitises and hold mock elections," Mr. Deshapriya said.
He said currently, the EC has 90 full time officers and 60 part time officers. All officials have to be provided with face masks daily and two masks for each official in case of surgical masks. We also need sanitisation equipment as well.
Mr. Deshapriya had on an earlier occasion said the Commission's aim was to conduct the general elections with all safety precautions in place so that the country need not face a re-emergence of COVID-19 because of the polls. (JAMILA HUSAIN)