Hyderabad: The state government has attached strings to the spending of constituency development funds by MLAs and MLCs.
Special chief secretary of planning S.P. Tucker has informed district collectors that the government will not release funds under the scheme unless the previous releases made for sanctioned works are spent and accounted for.
The move gains significance in the wake of the elected representatives preparing for a spree of sanctioning new civil works in the election year and to lure party workers with these new works.
Under the development scheme, each MLA or MLC is given Rs 1 crore of which Rs 50 lakh is spent on works identified by the respective MLA or MLC while the district in-charge sanctions works for the remaining amount.
The spending from the constituency development fund is always controversial with the MLAs and MLCs being accused of favouring party workers close to them with the sanctions.
Next: Curbs on funds release
Curbs on funds release
Hyderabad: Official sources told this newspaper that the Planning and Finance departments have expressed serious concern over huge pendency in works already sanctioned and grounded.
The top official of the Planning department made it clear to the collectors that funds would not be released for works sanctioned in 2010-11 and 2011-12 unless 90 per cent of the same was complete. Similarly, for works sanctioned in the fiscal year of 2012-2013 the completion rate must be 50 per cent.
Sources said the government has released Rs 1340 crore since 2009-10 but the actual utilisation has only been Rs 705 crore. The collectors have kept the remaining amount in personal deposit accounts.
In some cases the funds could not be released as the utilisation certificates for works already grounded were not submitted. This indicated either tardy progress or misuse of funds already released, a senior official pointed out.
In several cases, the MLAs sanctioned community halls and welfare buildings but these were not grounded as party workers found them unviable. ''We are under pressure to sanction cement roads as the profit margin for contractor-cum-party workers is high,'' said a minister.
Finance department officials were also unhappy over hundreds of crores of rupees being kept idle in PD accounts. While the state raises loans, paying high interest rates of 8-9 per cent, and releases the money for asset creation, the funds remain unspent in PD accounts which fetch less interest, sources said.