Badal,Navjot Sidhu fail to utilise funds
Chandigarh, January 4
Most low-profile Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members in Punjab have been able to make the most of the MPLAD (MP Local Area Development) fund while the performances of their high-profile counterparts, like SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal, Navjot Singh Sidhu and Ashwani Kumar, have been rated as just satisfactory, poor and very poor by the State Planning Department.
Amritsar MP Navjot Sidhu, who is known for always touting the development mantra, may not be able to disburse Rs 1 crore of the total fund. The department has observed that though one instalment of the fund is due to him, there is a heavy unspent balance in the fund released for Sidhu. While Rs 9 crore of the Rs 10 crore fund of Sidhu has been released, he has been unable to spend Rs 2.94 crore.
Another development-oriented MP Sukhbir may be able to get through “only after regular monitoring by the deputy commissioner at the personal level”, says a department note, which has been circulated to the MPs as part of the agenda for a meeting of the State Committee on MPLADs on January 9. In the case of Sukhbir also, Rs 9 crore has been released and he is yet to disburse Rs 2.10 crore.
Among the other poor Lok Sabha performers, who may not be able to spend part of their MPLAD funds, are Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal from the Phillaur Lok Sabha constituency and industrialist Rana Gurjit Singh from Jalandhar. As much as Rs 3 crore each is still to be released to them under the fund. These funds may lapse because the department has noted that a large amount of released money is lying unspent. Atwal’s unspent balance is Rs 1.92 crore while Rana Gurjeet has failed to utilise Rs 2.54 crore.
Among the Lok Sabha MPs, the performances of Zora Singh Mann from Ferozepur, Paramjit Kaur (Bathinda) and Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa (Sangrur) have been rated ‘outstanding’. While Preneet Kaur (Patiala) and Avinash Rai Khanna (Hoshiarpur) have got ‘very good’ rating, Dr Rattan Singh Ajnala from Tarn Taran has got ‘good’ and Sukhdev Singh Libra (Ropar), Sharanjit Dhillon (Ludhiana) and Vinod Khanna (Gurdaspur) ‘satisfactory’.
In case of Rajya Sabha MPs, it may not be possible for Union Minister of State for Industries Ashwani Kumar (Gurdaspur), Dharampal Sabharwal (Hoshiarpur) and Naresh Gujral to spend their quota of fund. Only Rs 5 crore each has been released to Ashwani Kumar and Dharampal Sabharwal till now. While Ashwani Kumar has an unspent balance of Rs 1.63 crore, Sabharwal is still to spend Rs 1.42 crore. Their performances have been rated “very poor”. Naresh Gujral (Jalandhar) has been released only Rs 4 crore, out of which Rs 1.03 crore remains unspent. Among Rajya Sabha MPs, both Sports Minister MS Gill (Taran Tarn) and Varinder Bajwa (Hoshiarpur) have got ‘outstanding’ rating while Rajmohinder Singh (Amritsar) and Tourism and Culture Minister Ambika Soni (Hoshiarpur) have got ‘good’.