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Increased privilege for increased responsibility

by Rinku Khumukcham
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Local Area Development Fund of the Members of the Legislative Assembly for developmental activities within their constituencies has already been increased. And this is a good signed for legislators to take up developmental works in their constituencies.
However, we have seen many times, this funds being allocated to the MLAs are apparently underutilized or, as most people suspects, being misappropriated. Recently MLA of Khurai Assembly constituency Suchindro, had announced to punish those misappropriated the local area development fund. The very stand of the MLA showed that something murky has been following in the utilisation of the local area development fund.
The recent trend of entrusting these development funds to the Ward Development Committees being set up in each constituency needs to be looked into first to ensure proper and timely utilization of the same before more funds are pumped in from the already stressed state funds. A mechanism with adequate executive powers to impose proper disbursal needs to be put in place. The present scenario in the state- the issues of misappropriation and underutilization of state funds being faced in almost every Government development projects paints a bleak picture in the minds of the general public and these needs to be cleared.
The only way to achieve is to present a more transparent system of working. Social audits being carried out for the PMGSY and other such central funded schemes can be followed. Also, various social organizations and groups are siphoning off various materials and benefits meant for distribution and benefits of the people in each constituency.
This needs to be checked, instead they should make sure of the proper and timely utilization. This could help in the proper functioning of the system thus ensuring speedy development throughout the State. The proposal which will be discussed in the forthcoming Assembly Session is most likely to be approved without any opposition. Participation of local bodies, clubs and organizations in formulation of projects and decisions to identify works to be taken up according to the priorities of people of the constituencies should be encouraged. Despite the various development projects taken up by the Central and State Government, it has been see that much remains to be completed.
A proactive representative of the people with a knack for sensing the grievances of the people, with the resources to work towards address them is the need of the day. With the increased financial perks and allowances most likely to be approved soon, these expectations of the people should not be much of a problem and should be an impetus to take up various social development activities for which they have been elected in the first place.  Accountability of public funds should be maintained. Most importantly, entrusting these development works to those persons capable of delivering results and not to their near and dear ones can only increase the credibility of these Representatives winning the trust and affection of the public bringing in a good system of governance.    

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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