Dy CM denies opposition allegation of diversion of central funds for gram panchayats
DECCAN CHRONICLE | DC Correspondent
VIJAYAWADA: Deputy Chief Minister B. Mutyala Naidu has made clear that there was no diversion of gram panchayat funds released under the 14th and 15th Finance Commission for other purposes in Andhra Pradesh.
Soon after the legislative council met on Thursday with Koyyenu Moshenu Raju in the chair, the Question Hour started. He asked members D. Rama Rao, B. Tirumala Naidu, I. Venkateswara Rao and others to raise their queries on "diversion of funds and hampering developmental works" and problems in maintenance of sanitation due to lack of funds in gram panchayats.
Deputy CM Mutyala Naidu said in his reply that there was no diversion of funds released by the Centre to AP under the 14th and 15th Finance Commission by saying that the state government. "The state does not have any authority to do so. The Centre remits the funds directly into the bank accounts of gram panchayats to meet their financial requirements for arranging drinking water, street lights, payment of power bills etc, he said.
The deputy CM made it clear that when power bill arrears were pending with gram panchayats and the Discoms were facing financial issues, the state government stepped in and cleared the power bill arrears of the gram panchayats and also paid for the works taken up in the gram panchayats. "We remitted the balance amount into their individual bank accounts."
He said orders were issued for release of 15th Finance Commission funds for maintenance of sanitation and other works. With the onset of the summer, directions have been issued to officials to carry out repair works for all defunct borewells on a war-footing, within 24 hours form the time of receipt of complaint. This would avoid any shortage of water supply to the gram panchayats, he said.
The opposition members expressed dissatisfaction over the minister’s response that there was no diversion of funds.
The deputy CM claimed that unlike the earlier practice of the Telugu Desam government involving Janma Bhoomi Committees for taking up works and misusing such funds, the YSRC government was functioning in a transparent manner to ensure development of gram panchayats by providing all the requisite amenities.