Election Commission has issued a letter of intent for purchase of 16 lakh 15 thousand Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trails (VVPATs) during 2017-18 and 2018-19.
The VVPATs will be purchased at an estimated cost of over three thousand one hundred crore rupees from Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) and Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL).
In its letter sent to CMDs of these PSUs, the Commission has communicated its intent for purchase of over eight lakh VVPATs from each company by September next year.
These VVPATs will be manufactured by both PSUs only as per the design approved by the Commission based on recommendation of the Technical Experts Committee on EVMs comprising of eminent technical professors from IITs. The poll body will closely monitor the production of VVPATs for timely delivery well before next General Elections in 2019.
Explaining the importance of the step, the Chief Election Commissioner Dr Nasim Zaidi said it will enhance transparency and uphold the voters’ right to know which party they voted and thereby increasing voters’ confidence in the free and fair electoral process.
Recently, the government had approved the proposal for the procurement of VVPATs.