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Sitting over area funds, MLA style!

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  24 Dec 2015 12:00 AM GMT

As many as 115 legislators failed to utilize LAD funds fully in 2014-15, Ghashyam Kalita and Chandan Brahma failed to spend a single rupee for their constituencies

By Our Staff Reporter

Guwahati, Dec 23: Time and again MLAs are seen complaining about lack of funds for developmental activities in their constituencies. But ironically, the same legislators have utterly failed to utilize the MLA Area Development funds allotted to them.

Only nine constituencies out of the total 126 - Jorhat, Titabor, Mariani, Teok, Majuli, Dergaon, Soi, Dholai and Udarband have registered 100 per cent utilization of funds in the last four fiscals. Interestingly, Jorhat is the only district in which all the constituencies have registered full utilization of the MLAAD funds. The constituencies are represented by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi (Titabor), Ra Gowami (Jorhat), Rajib Lochan Pegu (Majuli), Rupjyoti Kurmi (Mariani), Membar Gogoi (Teok) and Arati Kachari (Dergaon) - all from the Congress.

The other three best performers are Amul Haque (Soi), Girindra Mallik (Dholai) and Ajit Singh (Udarband).

While all the other constituencies have unspent amounts, Sidli represented by BPF's Chandan Brahma and Rangiya represented by Congress' Ghashyam Kalita are at the bottom of the table.

In the year 2011-12, Brahma spent only Rs 29.95 lakh of the total Rs 40 lakh allocated. In the following year, he spent Rs 79.37 lakh of the total allocated Rs 100 lakh and in 2013-14, he could utilize only Rs 24.50 lakh (of the total Rs 100 lakh), according to a government report as on November this year. Last year, he did not spend a single penny.

The MLAAD funds were hiked to Rs 1 crore a year in 2012-13 from the earlier Rs 40 lakh.

In Rangiya, legislator Ghashyam Kalita could not utilize a single rupee last year. The expenditure in the previous years were: 2011-12 - Rs 32 lakh (of Rs 40 akh), 2012-13 - Rs 80.38 lakh (of Rs 1 crore) and 2013-14 - Rs 57.02 lakh (of Rs 1 crore).

The MLAs are supposed to pick a construction committee for every approved scheme. The committee should have at least one government junior engineer (from any department). Once the committee is formed, the deputy commissioner releases 75 per cent of the funds to it. After the amount is spent, an utilization certificate is submitted at the DC office. Then a joint verification is carried out, and if satisfied, the DC releases the remaining amount.

Till date, as many as forty five legislators could not spend the complete Rs 40 lakh allocated to them in the year 2011-12. The number of MLAs who failed to utilize the full MLAAD funds went on increasing every year from 90 in 2012-13 to 99 in 2013-14 and 115 in 2014-15.

(*See full chart of utilization of MLAAD funds in page 12)

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