Hyderabad: TRS and Opposition MLAs have been struggling to fulfil their poll promises in their constituencies due to the non-allocation of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) by the government for 2019-20.
The CDF was `1 crore in the undivided Andhra Pradesh and was increased to `1.5 crore in 2014-15 financial year, and again to `3 crore in 2016-17 by the Telangana state government. In the present year, the government did not take any steps to allocate the CDF to the MLAs. As a result, they are worried about how to fulfil their promises to the public.
There are 120 MLAs, including one nominated MLA, and 40 MLCs in the state. The government allocated `362 crore to the CDF in 2017-18 Budget. After that, the government revised the allocation to `298 crore.
According to the MLAs, the actual amount required for allocations under the CDF was `480 crore but, for one or the other reason, the government kept reducing the amount and so as far the current financial is concerned, there is no clarity on the allocation of the budget for the CDF scheme.
However, finance department officials said that in view of the financial crunch, the government is taking steps to arrange alternative funds for the MLAs to take up their constituency development activities.
The officials disclosed that the state government had allocated `10,000 crore in the Budget in the name of special development funds and these would likely be released to them based on recommendations by MLAs and MLCs.
The MLAs are saying that they would have to send proposals to the chief minister (CM) for the sanction of special development funds but they did not know when the green signal would come from the CM office for their proposals.
Meanwhile, Congress Legislature Party leader Mallu Bhatti Vikra-marka said that the K. Chandrasekhar Rao government had spent thousands of crores on advertising projects but did not allocate the funds under the CDF scheme.
He said that the funds under the CDF are crucial for MLAs solve the drainage, roads problems and also to develop anganwadi centres.
He alleged that the Chief Minister has not been respecting elected public representatives.
BJP MLC, N. Ramachandra, said that the CM has promised the opposition and ruling party MLCs that he would allocate funds to take up micro-level development works in their constituencies but the government stopped the funds suddenly and this impacts the pace of development.
Maintaining that every MLC is facing this issue, he said “We requested the finance minister in the recent budget session to allocate the CDF and also asked that the CM consider the issue’s gravity and seriousness.”...