The Election Commission of India (ECI) has issued a letter of intent for the purchase of 16,15,000 Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trails (VVPATs) at an estimated cost of Rs. 3,173.47 crore during 2017-18 and 2018-19 from the BEL and ECIL.
In its letter sent to the CMDs of ECIL and BEL on Friday, the Commission has communicated its intent for purchase 8,07,500 VVPATs from each PSUs by September 2018.
These VVPATs shall be manufactured by both PSUs only as per the design approved by the Commission based on the recommendation of the Technical Experts Committee on EVMs constituted by the Commission and comprising of eminent technical professors from IITs. The Commission shall closely monitor the production of VVPATs for timely delivery well before General Elections 2019.
Explaining the importance of this step, Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi said: 'This will enhance transparency and uphold the voters' right to know which party he or she has voted, thereby increasing voters' confidence in the free and fair electoral process.'
On April 19, in compliance with the order of the Supreme Court and as per the recommendation of the Election Commission of India, the government approved Rs 3173.47 crore for the procurement of 16,15,000 VVPATs to be used in ensuing elections and General Elections 2019.