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MPLADS spend shows mixed results for Rajya Sabha MPs

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IANS New Delhi
The Union Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has released details of usage of MPLADS funds which, typically, take the sheen off some reputations while showing some others in good light.
For instance, Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP from West Bengal Derek O Brien released Rs 5 crore funds for projects identified by him against an entitlement of Rs 7.5 crore.
The expenditure incurred was Rs 2.35 crore, the unspent amount was Rs 2.65 crore, showing utilisation of 45 per cent of the funds released.
In the case of Congress party's West Bengal MP Abhishek Manu Singhvi, against an entitlement of Rs 5 crore, funds released was also Rs 5 crore, but the unspent balance was Rs 4.95 crore, showing an utilisation of almost nil.
Samajwadi Party stalwart Ram Gopal Yadav, the party's Rajya Sabha MP from Uttar Pradesh, had an exceptional 97.59 per cent utilisation of funds. Against an entitlement of Rs 45.03 crore for the constituency, the Union government released Rs 37.53 crore.
The cumulative amount recommended by him for MPLADS works was Rs 38.17 crore, the expenditure was Rs 37.03 crore and the unspent amount overall was Rs 1.77 crore.
If Yadav did exceptionally well with the utilisation of funds under MPLADS, consider the case of Kanimozhi, the DMK's Rajya Sabha MP from Tamil Nadu. Against an entitlement of Rs 47 crore for her constituency, the Union government released Rs 34.50 crore, of which expenditure incurred was Rs 34.38 crore, leading to an utilisation of 99.64 per cent of the released amount and an unspent balance of Rs 0.63 crore.
For the record Kanimozhi, from the DMK's first family, had recommended MPLADS works worth Rs 47.90 crore.
Former Rajya Sabha nominated MP Rekha did not do too badly on the MPLADS fund. The government released Rs 22.50 crore under MPLADS for her projects of which expenditure incurred was 20.01 per cent, showing 86.94 per cent utilisation of funds released.
These are figures released by the Ministry on March 28. All MPs receive up to Rs 5 crore a year to finance development projects of their choice under MPLADS.
For Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, a BJP Rajya Sabha MP from Uttar Pradesh, funds released by the Union government for Sonbhadra was Rs 7.5 crore against an entitlement of Rs 10 crore for the constituency. However, the cumulative amount recommended for MPLADS works was nil, leading to the entire sanctioned amount being unspent.
Naturally, the percent utilisation of funds over released was also nil.
Kapil Sibal, the Congress party's Rajya Sabha MP from Uttar Pradesh, had funds worth Rs 10 crore released for Rae Bareli against an entitlement of Rs 12.50 crore. Cumulative amount sanctioned by him was Rs 10.84 crore. Overall, the unspent balance was Rs 4.55 crore, showing 55.64 per cent utilisation over funds released.
In the case of Samajwadi Party's Rajya Sabha MP Jaya Bachchan, the Union government released Rs 2.5 crore against an entitlement of Rs 5 crore. But, the actor-turned-politician did not recommend MPLADS works, leading to nil utilisation of funds and the entire amount of Rs 2.5 crore stayed unspent.
For Raj Babbar, Congress Rajya Sabha MP from Uttarakhand, against an entitlement of Rs 20 crore for Dehradun, total funds released were Rs 17.50 crore, and there was an unspent balance of Rs 5.48 crore, showing an utilisation of 69.5 per cent.
For BJP Rajya Sabha MP from Uttar Pradesh, G.V.L. Narasimha Rao, the Union government released Rs 2.50 crore for Varanasi, the unsanctioned balance amount was Rs 2.25 crore, and the unspent balance amount was Rs 2.55 crore.
For Union minister K.J. Alphons, the BJP's Rajya Sabha MP from Rajasthan, the entitlement for Jaipur was Rs 7.50 crore, of which the government released Rs 5 crore. The unspent balance was Rs 4.87 crore (audit certificate is pending), which meant that expenditure was Rs 0.13 crore, the utilisation with respect to funds released was 1.63 per cent.
The figures show that 0.84 crore of MPLADS works had been recommended by him.
His party colleague Vijay Goel, who represents the BJP in the Upper House of Parliament from Rajasthan, has a far better record in this area.
Against an entitlement of Rs 25 crore for Jaipur, the government released Rs 20 crore, and following expenditure of Rs 16.20 crore and an unspent balance of Rs 3.96 crore (provisional utilisation certificate pending), it showed utilisation of 79.26 per cent. Goel had recommended MPLADS works of Rs 17.07 crore.
For Ambika Soni, Congress MP from Rupnagar in Punjab, the government released Rs 5 crore, unsanctioned balance was Rs 1.69 crore, and unspent balance was Rs 5.69 crore.
Swapan Dasgupta, nominated member considered close to the BJP even though he has not declared himself as a BJP member in the House, has a remarkable record. Of an entitlement of Rs 15 crore for Kolkata, the government released Rs 15 crore, the expenditure incurred was Rs 16.11 crore showing a fund utilisation of Rs 105.40 crore.
Dasgupta had recommended MPLADS works to the tune of Rs 17.01 crore.
Nominated Rajya Sabha MP KTS Tulsi also has an exceptional record like Dasgupta. Of the entitlement of Rs 15 crore, the government released Rs 10 crore. An expenditure of Rs 10.74 crore meant that utilisation over released funds was 105.37 per cent.
For nominated member Rakesh Sinha, a pro-RSS academic, against a sanctioned amount of Rs 5 crore for the constituency, the government released Rs 2.5 crore. However, nothing of this amount was spent, leading to nil utilisation of funds released.
For the record, the cumulative amount recommended by Sinha for MPLADS works was also nil, according to the figures released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
P. Chidambaram, Congress Rajya Sabha MP from Maharashtra, registered nil fund utilisation under MPLADS. The details are as follows: Entitlement for constituency (Mumbai City) Rs 12.63 crore; funds released by the government -- Rs 5.13 crore; expenditure - nil; unspent funds - Rs 5.13 crore. Projects recommended by him for MPLADS was Rs 0.65 crore according to the figures.
Nationalist Congress Party supremo Sharad Pawar showed a massive 107.17 per cent utilisation of funds. Against an entitlement of Rs 25.13 crore for constituency entitlement (Pune), the government released Rs 15.13 crore. But, there was an expenditure of Rs 16.22 crore (with interest the amount available was Rs 18.87 crore) leading to a 107.17 per cent utilisation with regard to released funds.
For the record, and as clarified by the ministry, under MPLADS, the role of MPs is limited only up to recommendation of works. Thereafter, it is the responsibility of the district authority concerned to sanction, execute and complete the works recommended by MPs within the stipulated time period.
Besides, the exact figure for expenditure is available only with the district authorities.
--IANS
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First Published: Mar 29 2019 | 9:56 PM IST

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