Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has pitched for introduction of One Nation One Elections (ONOE) concept, stating that holding of simultaneous elections at both the Central and State levels can bring economic efficiency and also reduce the cost of project delays by about half of current levels.

 Frequent elections besides being expensive, can disrupt the policy making process, leading to uncertainty among businesses and investors and impose significant economic costs, a CII delegation led by its President R Dinesh conveyed to the High Level Committee on ONOE, chaired by former President of India RamNath Kovind, here on Friday.

Besides Dinesh, the delegation comprised Sanjiv Puri, President Designate, CII and Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General.

CII in its presentation highlighted that investment decisions by the private sector tend to slow down prior to the elections.

Also, Infrastructure and Capex projects in the initial stages of implementation are affected due to delays arising from lack of approvals and clearances during imposition of the Model Code of Conduct for both General elections as well as States elections, CII has said.

Government staff capacity constraint for about two months in each election impacts all government work, it added.

CII has said that these two factors lead to delays in project implementation by about two months and this problem aggravates when there are multiple elections in the economy.

ONOE refers to synchronising the electoral cycles of both the Union and State Governments in India. 

This means that voters would cast their votes for both the Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assembly on the same day and at the same time, but voting across the country may happen within a specific time frame.

CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee told businessline that the apex industry chamber has been recommending simultaneous elections in India since 2012, basis the report of the CII Taskforce on Electoral Reforms. 


CII has now recommended two models for the consideration of the High Level Committee. 

First model involves single-stage simultaneous election cycle every five years. The second option in this, is have an election cycle every five years and bring half of the states in the next general elections and add the rest in the forthcoming one.

Alternatively, for the second model, CII has proposed two stage simultaneous elections with a gap of atleast 2.5 years.

In fact, India started out with simultaneous elections with three consecutive general elections being held in 1957, 1962, and 1967. Since then, the multiplicity of state elections has been growing, with the number of state elections being as high as nine in 2014-15 and eight in three successive years from 2017-18 to 2019-20.