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Report No. 255

(vi) Inclusion of notional expenditure of paid news into the election expenses

7.29. The Commission also passed a direction that six months before the due date of expiry of Lok Sabha or the State/UT Legislative Assembly, as the case may be, a list of television channels/radio channels/newspapers, and their standard rate cards shall be obtained by the CEOs and forwarded to the Commission for inclusion of notional expenditure based on standard rate cards in their election expenses account, in case the candidate has not submitted the documents of actual expenses.

However, the implementation of this directive is very difficult given the scale of newspapers published throughout India and the varying rates of advertisements of the newspapers. Even if the Commission obtains the rate cards, it will be difficult to identify the instances of paid news or disguised political advertising.

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