Chief Electoral Officer Narinder Chauhan said here today that tenders other than global tenders, that were already floated may be evaluated but not finalized without prior approval of the Election Commission of India (ECI). If already not floated, they shall not be floated without prior approval of the Commission, he added.

Chauhan said that the Election Commission of India had issued guidelines regarding implementation, processing of various projects, schemes, rural development programmes etc. by the Central and State Government. He said that new works and project could not be taken up from discretionary funds of whatever nature. Discretionary fund includes funds, which were provided in the budget in a generic manner and for which no identified and sanctioned project exists prior to Model Code of Conduct coming into effect, he added. He said that it would require prior permission of the Commission. He said that area of operation of any existing project, scheme, programme can not be extended or expanded. He further said that signing a MOU or an agreement where the government is a party would also require prior clearance by the Commission.

He said that no formal function shall be held involving any political functionary while starting any work (including any relief work) or developmental activity. He said that as a matter of good practice, normal functions and publicity even with the presence of official functionaries should be kept to the minimum. He said that regular recruitment/appointment or promotion through the Union Public Service Commission, State Public Service Commissions or the Staff Selection Commission or any other statutory authority can continue but the recruitments through non-statutory bodies would require prior clearance of the Commission.

Chief Electoral Officer said that Work-Projects that had actually started on the ground after obtaining all necessary sanctions and beneficiary-projects, where specific beneficiaries by name had been identified before coming of the Model Code of Conduct into force can be continued by the government agencies without reference to the Election Commission after the Model Code of Conduct comes into force. He said that there shall be no bar to release of funds for the completed portion of any work subject to observance of laid down procedures and concurrence of finance department.

He said that the Commission always took humanitarian view on the work that was necessitated due to man-made or natural calamities. It included, ex-gratia payments and gratuitous relief in the aftermath of a disaster can be given directly to the persons affected at the current rates/scales of assistance presently in force, under intimation to the Commission, he added. He said that emergent relief works and measures that were aimed to mitigate the hardships, directly and solely, of the persons affected in a disaster may be taken up under intimation to the Commission. However, new works that may be necessitated by way of preventive measures to mitigate the likely effects of natural disasters like repair of embankments, water channels etc. can be taken up only with prior permission of the Commission, he added.