Utilisation of funds released by Centre for development works held up because of poll code of conduct
Thanks to the Khadakwasla bypoll, MPs in the district can only wait for the Rs 21.94 crore the Centre has sanctioned for development works in their constituencies. Among these members of Parliament are Suresh Kalmadi (Pune), Supriya Sule (Baramati), Shivajirao Adhalrao Patil (Shirur) and Gajanan Babar (Maval), who are yet to use the allocated funds for the proposed development work in their respective areas.
Hands tied: City MP Suresh Kalmadi (above) and Baramati MP Supriya
Sule are yet to use the funds allocated for development work in their
constituencies. File pic
Their proposals shall not be officially cleared till the counting of votes of the Khadakwasla State Assembly by-election gets over. Khadakwasla state assembly by-election was declared as the local MLA Ramesh Wanjale passed away of cardiac arrest in June. The election commission had declared a by-election and the period of election code of conduct started from September 9.
"The election code of conduct is imposed on all political parties in the district. No MP or MLA or even local corporators can impress their voters by any gesture as per the rule," said Apurva Wankhede, assistant election officer, Pune district.
"The election code of conduct ends by October 20. After that we can decide on the release of funds?" said Mangala Ghode, planning officer of MP funds, Pune district. "As per the government rules, each MP blocks his or her expenditure for the respective proposals on the development works. The estimate of each proposal gets finalised by the Public Works Department (PWD) and then the money gets allotted from us," she said.
The money gets released from the Ministry of Statistical Program and Implementation.
Ghode said the election period was crucial. "We have to take care not to expedite any of the suggested works from the MPs because it may hamper the election code of conduct prescribed by the Election Commission of India. If we release any of the funds, the commission may institute inquiry into it."
Refusing to give any more details of the proposals send by the four MPs, Ghode said there were 130 proposals sent by Sule and Rs 7.11 crore asked to be released by Patil. "We have received Kalmadi's fresh proposal worth Rs 2.11 crore just before the election code of conduct came into effect," she said. "He had mentioned Rs 4.41 crore which is small compared to the other MPs from the district. From this financial year 2011-12, the MP fund has been raised from Rs 2 crore to Rs 5 crore."
MiD DAY had reported about the proposals worth Rs 2.3 crore sent by Kalmadi from Tihar Jail on July 18 by sending a fax from the prison. Vinod Surve, his personal assistant, had said Kalmadi was likely to send some more proposals soon.
MPs' proposals for 2011-12
Supriya Sule, Baramati
Total proposals: 130
Amount: Rs 5.32 crore
S A Patil, Shirur
Total proposals: 26
Amount: Rs 7.11 crore
Gajanan Babar, Maval
Total proposals: 86
Amount: Rs 5.10 crore
Suresh Kalmadi, Pune city
Total proposals: 32
Amount: Rs 4.41 crore