JK MPs fail to utilize development funds

Greater Kashmir

Jammu, Jan 14: The newly-elected members of Parliament from Jammu and Kashmir have failed to utilize the Member of Parliament Local Area Development (MPLAD) funds, official data reveals.
Even after more than seven months of their election to the Parliament, the MPs have not utilized Rs 15 crore released in their favour as first installment of the MPLAD funds.
None of the six MPs—two from Jammu, three from Kashmir and one from Ladakh—have utilized a single penny out of the first installment of Rs 2.5 crore released in favour of each of them.
According to official data for the financial year (2014-15), till January 1, 2015, all six MPs—Mehbooba Mufti from Anantnag, MuzaffarHussainBaig from Baramulla, Jugal Kishore from Jammu-Poonch, ThupstanChhewang from Ladakh, Tariq Hameed Karra from Srinagar and DrJitendra Singh from Udhampur—have failed to recommended any money out of the biannual installment of Rs 2.5 crore each for developmental works in their respective constituencies.
In the official data, the first installment in case of J&K MPs has been indicated as “unspent balance” as on January 1, 2015.
Observers say it is unfortunate that the MPs have failed to utilize the funds despite the fact that J&K is in dire need of financial assistance for reconstruction of infrastructure damaged in the September floods.
According to sources, the MPs concentrated more on assembly elections than development in their constituencies for which they sought the votes. “The funds under MPLAD scheme are non-lapsable, but that doesn’t mean development work should not be started,” they said.