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Oj Corner
Special column
by OJ George

Cheque facility won't be withdrawn, says the govt
It is a matter of relief that the Union Government has clarified that cheque facility won't be withdrawn.

There were stray reports that an overenthusiastic government favaouring total digitalisation may go in for banning the cheque books.


It is gratifying to note that the government won't proceed with the reforms this way.
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EC insists on funds to procure paper trail voting machines
Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi has aproached the government with another letter seeking funds to expedite the purchase of paper trail machines before the Lok Sabha elections in 2019.

Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail or VVPAT machines produce a printout of the vote cast using EVMs, which can be shown to the voter to dispel any doubts.

This printout is then deposited in a box and can be used to resolve any dispute regarding the election. In 2013, the Supreme Court had ordered the Election Commission to implement the VVPAT system in a phased manner, and the commission had committed to having it in place by the time of the 2019 general elections.

As first reported by The Indian Express on March 19, the EC has been writing to the Law Ministry (its parent ministry) for funds to purchase approximately 16 lakh VVPAT machines, for which it needs Rs 3,100 crore. The commission has sent at least 10 reminders to the government since June 2014. Last year, Zaidi had even sent an SOS of sorts to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, drawing his attention to the funds needed for the machines.
   
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