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Centre clears EC proposal for paper trail machines

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New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday cleared a proposal of the Election Commission (EC) to procure paper trail machines for use during future elections.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced today that the centre is releasing about 3,000 crores to ensure the new machines are ready by September 2018, as needed by the EC.

The decision comes as opposition parties have demanded for using paper trail machines along with EVMs, to clear doubts about votes cast.

The EC has sought Rs 3,174 crore in all for procuring over 16 lakh paper trail machines to cover all polling stations in the country.

The Cabinet has so far cleared two tranches of Rs 1,009 crore and Rs 9,200 for the Commission to buy new electronic voting machines (EVMs).

Last week, the Supreme Court asked the Election Commission and the centre to explain the delay in switching to VVPATs.

Meanwhile, sixteen parties had recently petitioned the EC to revert to paper ballot system for greater transparency. The BSP, the AAP and the Congress had attacked the EC on the issue of alleged tampering of EVMs.

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