February 18, 2015 7:57:04 pm
Nine months after the 16th Lok Sabha was constituted, Rs 1299.70 crore of the Rs 1341.57 crore funds available to the 543 MPs remains unspent. But that does not mean it will remain so for the rest of the year.
As is the tradition, there will be a rush to spend the money in the coming months. That is because the MPs will receive their installments for the next fiscal only if they can show they have utilised 80 per cent of the funds from their very first installment after assuming power.
At the time of constitution of the Lok Sabha, Rs. 2.5 crore is allotted to an MP as first installment of the Rs 5 crore he or she is entitled to every year under the Member of Parliament Local Area Development Fund (MPLADS).
In the six states where the Bharatiya Janata Party has won 50 or more per cent of seats, MPs have not spent a single rupee from the MPLADS. According to data released on the MPLADS website, in Maharashtra (Rs 110 cr), J&K (Rs 15 cr), Uttarakhand (Rs 10 cr), Jharkhand (Rs 35 cr), Assam (Rs 35 cr) and Goa (Rs 5 cr) saw zero spending from the Rs 210 crore allotted.
In Uttar Pradesh, a state with the highest number of Lok Sabha seats (80), BJP MP Rajesh Verma from Sitapur was the only MP to utilise his funds so far.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav were among the 79 MPs who are yet to start spending from the Rs 5 crore allotted to them in the state.
With the financial year less than two months away, we can only say the MPs don’t have much longer to wait.
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