Rs 2.59 crore allotted to RS members lying unspent; work on many projects yet to start.
The Auditor General of Maharashtra,in its latest report,has said funds to the tune of over Rs 2.5 crore allotted to Rajya Sabha members under the MP Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) is lying unspent with the district authorities. The report has also stated that many of the projects initiated under the MPLADS some as long as eight years ago remains incomplete in Pune.
Each member of the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha is allotted funds for development of the areas in their jurisdiction. Under this scheme,each MP has to recommend work costing up to Rs 5 crore to the district collector every year. Also,the scheme says the unspent money from a previous MPs local area development funds should be distributed equally among all the MPs elected to the Rajya Sabha from the state for the next term.
During the audit,the AG noticed that Rs 2.59 crore was lying unspent with the district authorities,which was from the LAD funds allotted to seven former Rajya Sabha MPs from Pune. The amount,according to the report,originates from 1993 and extends to 2011. The MPs whose LAD funds have been lying unspent are Suresh Kalmadi,Najma Heptullah,Vitthal Gadgil,Dilip Kumar,Vasant Chavan,Supriya Sule and Sharad Joshi.
The amount of Rs 2.59 core was not distributed equally among the successor Rajya Sabha members from the state. As these works are completed,the unutilised funds should be distributed among the successors, the report observed.
When it comes to completion of the various projects initiated under MPLADS,the AGs report pointed out that 64 projects under the 14th Lok Sabha MPLADS were incomplete. These projects were pending from 2005-06 and 2009-10. Out of the 1,014 projects sanctioned during 2005-06,930 were completed while work on 20 is yet to start.
The total expenditure incurred on the completed work was Rs 27.94 crore. The report said 106 projects were incomplete in the 15th Lok Sabha MPLAD Scheme from 2009-11. A total of 462 projects were sanctioned during the above period,of which work on 71 is yet to start. The total expenditure incurred on the completed work was Rs 11.14 crore. The report said since the completion certificate of the projects was not available with the department,the audit could not verify whether the projects shown as competed were actually completed.
The report went on to add that some of the incomplete projects were too old,lying incomplete for the last eight years,and benefits had not reached the people for whom the work had been taken up.
According to District Planning Officer M Ghode,in case of unspent money the funds are returned to the nodal districts and the authorities had done so after the audit. Post the audit,we have started finishing all pending work and the completion certificate would be sent to the audit department soon, she said.