Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has a lesson for MPs who crave for more local area development funds, but fail to utilise them. Thats how Singh revealed during his visit to his constituency in Assam on April 20. Not only has he shown how to spend the money, Singh is way ahead of Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul in terms of utilising the MPLADS funds and offering bounties quietly to his constituency.
He tops the list in the country with highest 90.5 per cent utlisation of funds. Sonia and Rahul lag far behind with just 58.97 per cent and 35.35 per cent respectively.
Out of Rs 40.5 crore coming in his account as an MP, Singh has already released Rs 35.05 crore for various works in Assam, out of which Rs 31.73 crore have been already spent. It is so because he not only releases funds, but also keeps track of the projects to ensure timely utilisation. Biswajit Daimery, another Rajya Sabha member from Assam, stands second at 90.4 per cent.
On the eve of his visit, Singh has sanctioned Rs one crore from the MPLAD fund for the all-round development of Assam’s Morigaon town. The scheme includes construction of a modern auditorium, a training centre for self-help groups and construction of two municipal roads. Parliament was recently informed that installments of MPLAD funds for 2011-12 are yet to be released to 196 nodal districts of 245 Lok Sabha MPs and 86 nodal districts of 123 Rajya Sabha MPs.
Under the MPLAD scheme, every MP is provided Rs 5 crore every year for taking up development works and projects in his/her constituency. Singh’s office is also directly monitoring 17 different projects worth Rs129crore sanctioned to Assam, since he assumed office in 2004.