Congress wants Rs 1.5 crore from Special Assistant Grant for each MDC to develop constituency

Shillong Apr 24: The Opposition Congress in KHADC on Wednesday slammed the United Democratic Alliance ( UDA) -led Executive Committee for allocating only Rs 50 lakh for each MDC from the Special Assistant Grant sanctioned by the Centre, and demanded each MDC should be allocated Rs 1.5 crore for taking up various developmental programmes in villages for the benefit of the people.

The Centre has sanctioned around Rs 52 crore to the KHADC under the Special Assistant Grant.

Leader of Opposition, Lamphrang Blah told reporters that the Chief Executive Member (CEM), Teiñwell Dkhar has confirmed that Rs 50 lakh would be allocated for each MDC and this was a collective decision taken by the Executive Committee.

However Blah said that the Opposition members have given a joint letter to the CEM, urging the EC to reconsider its decision and that each member should be allocated Rs 1.5 crore for taking up various developmental activities in their respective area.

Congress MDC from Mylliem, Ronnie V. Lyngdoh said that though the CEM has informed that it was a collective decision, but there were MDCs of the ruling UDA who were not aware about such a decision.

Lyngdoh also questioned whether a District Council Level Committee that should be headed by the CEM has been constituted or not as mandated in the guidelines issued by the Niti Aayog and the Committee is responsible for planning and implementation of projects.

Lyngdoh said that the Opposition members would also write to Niti Aayog for flouting the laid down guidelines because the CEM has informed that from the Rs 52 crore, certain amount would be also utilized for tourism projects which are part of the Council’s assets.

Stating that the guidelines have clearly stated that grants provided are intended to be used to support and strengthen the delivery of basic civic services and subjects as assigned by the state government through legislation, Lyngdoh wondered if tourism projects to be taken up by the KHADC has been duly assigned by the state government since tourism is also being promoted by the state.

“We are not against the move to promote tourism but we wanted to know if the guidelines have been duly followed, and we are afraid that such tourism projects might fail if implemented without proper planning,” he said.

Lyngdoh also alleged the present EC led by the CEM Teiñwell Dkhar did not give priority to develop villages and community but give more importance to projects that would benefit some contractors instead of the people.

Reiterating that the decision to the EC should be reconsidered, Lyngdoh said that there was no logic in allocating just Rs 50 lakh for each MDC because more fund would be utilized for creating of Council’s assets instead of giving more to the MDCs to undertake various developmental activities in villages and localities in their respective constituencies.

“Where is the logic in giving just Rs 14.5 crore out of Rs 52 crore for taking up developmental activities in the 29 constituencies? But surprisingly, the CEM told us that MDCs who are part of the ruling UDA would get more fund than MDCs in the Opposition from the Special Assistant Grant. The CEM also told us that the ruling MDCs deserved to get more fund because they have incurred too many expenses,” Lyngdoh informed.

The Congress MDCs pointed out that even the previous EC had allocated around Rs 7.5 crore for a tourism project at Jingkieng Kalong which is part of the Council’s assets, adding that, now the present EC has again wanted to sanction money for the same tourism project.

The MDCs also wondered if projects with big amount have been executed as per the Detailed Project Reports (DPRs).

“If the present EC decided to go ahead, we will write to Niti Aayog as well as take this issue to the people,” Lyngdoh said.