City MPs sit on development funds

Your money, their decision Attribute slow utilisation to delays in tendering and sanctioning

In the three years since they were elected, the six members of Parliament from Mumbai have on an average spent less than 50 percent of their Local Area Development (MP-LAD) funds. According to the responses received by NGO MumbaiVotes on Right to Information applications, MP-LAD funds between May 2009 and December 2012 have been grossly under-utilised in the city. Congress MP Gurudas Kamat has used only 34 per cent of his funds, MP Priya Dutt has used the maximum (62 per cent).

Each MP received Rs 14 crore over this period. The MP-LAD Scheme was launched in 1993, to help MPs carry out developmental works, create community assets and provide basic facilities, including community infrastructure.

Till date, all MPs from Maharashtra have received Rs 2,355 crore. The average utilisation has been 88 per cent. In Mumbai, however, this average is just 48.7 per cent. Congress MPs Milind Deora, Eknath Gaikwad and Sanjay Nirupam have spent 44 per cent, 45 per cent and 57 per cent of the funds respectively. The annual amount per MP was Rs 4 crore till 2009-10. It was then increased to Rs 5 crore.

MPs attributed slow utilisation of funds to delays in tendering and sanctioning procedures. While 33 per cent of work to be done utilising the funds is to be tendered, 33 per cent is reserved for unemployed engineers and 34 per cent can be given through direct appointment of contractors.

An official from the office of an MP said earlier, this division was not being followed strictly and most works were being handed out openly. Since April 2012, this is being strictly followed, which has affected the pace at which works are assigned, he said.

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