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HomeNationalGovt says EVMs to cost Rs62bn, rejects higher estimates

Govt says EVMs to cost Rs62bn, rejects higher estimates

Federal Minister for Science and Technology, Senator Syed Shibli Faraz has said that Rs60 to Rs62 billion could be incurred on manufacturing electronic voting machines (EVMs) for the General Elections 2023 in the country, as per rough estimates.

“Since the EVMs are not disposable and can be used in all kinds of elections, like those for the local governments, bar council and other departments; the cost is justified,” the minister said in an interview with APP. Shibli Faraz said those who were spreading false information about the total cost of EVMs were misleading the people. “The media reports about the total cost of EVMs from Rs300 billion to Rs400 billion are totally baseless,” he exclaimed.

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The minister said around Rs27 billion were spent during the last general elections of 2018 which were conducted manually. The minister said it was very unfortunate that the Ministry of Science and Technology was neglected in the past due to lacking leadership. “The Ministry of Science and Technology is considered as the second most important department after the Prime Minister’s Office in the world while the deputy prime minister in some countries holds the portfolio of the Minister for Science and Technology too,” he observed.

“It was the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan that we have to give importance to technology for achieving progress on social and economic fronts,” the minister said, adding that EVM is the clear manifestation of the present government’s transition towards technology in accordance with the vision of the prime minister to make the elections transparent. “EVM symbolizes a paradigm shift towards technology,” he added.

The minister said that he was given the task of evolving an indigenous prototype of EVM soon after assuming charge as Minister for Science and Technology to resolve the longstanding issue of disputed and non-transparent elections.

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