Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) and Electronics Corporation of India (ECIL) are set to land business worth about Rs 5,500 crore, with the Election Commission (EC) getting "in principle" approval from the law ministry to buy about 14 lakh new electronic voting machines, or EVMs.
The EC intends to buy 13,95,648 new balloting units and 9,30,482 control units at an estimated cost of Rs 5,511 crore in a staggered manner, between 2015-16 and 2018-19.
Each EVM consists of one controlling unit and one ballot unit.
Elections are due in Kerala, Puducherry, Assam, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu (2016), in Uttar Pradesh (2017), in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh (2018), besides Lok Sabha elections in 2019, when the Modi government's current term will come to an end.
The move has been necessitated since over 9 lakh EVMs are close to ending their 15-year-lifespan, reports PTI. The cost of an EVM is about Rs 20,000.
The two public sector units are the sole manufacturers of EVMs in India; BEL has also exported EVMs to Namibia and exploring EVMs as a business opportunity in Southeast Asia and Africa. Elections in Namibia were held using EVMs manufactured by the defence public sector undertaking.
The Bengaluru-based company shipped 5,850 customised EVMs to Namibia in three installments along with battery packs, tabulators and printers, according to IANS.
But details of revenues earned by BEL from the sale of EVMs are not available.
Sale of EVMs contributed Rs 200 crore to ECIL's gross turnover of Rs 1,456 crore in 2013-14.
The company's turnover in 2014-15 was Rs 1,320 crore but the contribution of EVMs to its turnover is not known.
The two companies had landed orders worth Rs 300 crore from the EC for supplying 2.5 lakh controlling units and around 4 lakh ballot units for the Lok Sabha elections last year.
The news did not impact on the BEL stock that was trading at Rs 1,222.05, down 0.11% from its Friday close.