Shillong, March 21: The Chief Electoral Officer, Meghalaya today convened a meeting at the Main Conference Room, Main Secretariat, Shillong, to discuss on matters relating to Finance/Banking during the Model Code of Conduct period. The meeting also discussed the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued by the Indian Banks’ Association which will become part of the checking procedure of the Election machinery thereby ensuring smooth transport of clean and genuine cash by banks during elections. 

The guideline states that the banks shall ensure that the cash vans of outsourced agencies/companies carrying the bank’s cash shall not, under any circumstances, carry cash of any third party agencies/individuals except the banks. Towards this, the outsourced agencies/companies shall carry letters/documents etc, issued by the banks giving details of the cash released by the banks to them and carried by them for filling the ATMs and delivering cash at other branches, banks or currency chests. The personnel of the outsourced agencies/companies accompanying cash van shall carry identity card issued by the respective agencies. 

The aforesaid procedure has been stipulated for the reason that during the period of election, if the authorized officials of the Election Commission (District Election Officer or any other authorized official) intercepts the outsourced agency/company’s cash van for inspection, the agency/company should be in a position to clearly show to the Election Commission through document and also physical inspection of the currency that they have collected the cash from the banks for the purpose of replenishing the bank’s ATMs with cash or delivery of the cash to some other branches of the banks or currency chest on the instructions of the bank. 

As part of the Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) program of the Election Commission of India, the Chief Electoral Officer, Meghalaya also informed that various voter awareness materials will be shared with the Banks/ Post Offices, andthey have agreed to circulate it for maximum publicitythrough their branches across the state, to promote voter participation in the General Election to the Lok Sabha, 2024.