The election commission (EC) has finalised a Tk 87.11 billion (Tk 8,711 crore) project proposal to procure 200,000 Electronic Voting Machines (EVM).

The project proposal was approved at a meeting of the election commission on Monday. The project proposal will now be sent to the planning commission for the government's approval.

Speaking to Prothom Alo on Monday afternoon after the commission's meeting, additional secretary of the election commission secretariat, Ashok Kumar Debnath, said the commission has approved a Tk 87.11 billion project. Around 200,000 EVMs will be purchased under this project. The expenditure will also include funds to create and train a workforce to maintain the EVM.

Amid political debate over the issue, EC has decided to use EVM in a maximum 150 seats in the forthcoming national parliamentary election. They have 150,000 EVM at present. If the elections in the 150 are held on one day, then around another 200,000 EVMs will be required.

Earlier, a senior official of the EC secretariat told Prothom Alo, the project proposal that has been drawn up has three broad areas of expenditure. These include the procurement of around 200,000 EVMs, measures to maintain the EVM, and creating a workforce for the EVM. In all, the cost of the project has been estimated at over Tk 80 billion.

During the EC dialogue in August, 22 political parties had given their views concerning the EVM. Of them, 9 had been against the use of EVM. Another 5 expressed their apprehensions and doubts concerning the EVM. Only four parties, including Awami League, had spoken in favour of the voting to be done with the EVM.