The way the Members of the Legislative Assembly utilize the Local Area Development Fund in their respective assembly constituency is somewhat skeptical to the people. Not only this time but from time to time LAPDF has always been utilized for political benefits by almost all MLAs. Few handed over the LADF to a committee so that the MLA could prove his sincerity in the utilization of the Local Area Development fund. But many still could not be convinced as there is always lack of transperancy.
The increase in the LADF of the Members of the Legislative Assembly for developmental activities within their constituencies sometimes back has many eyebrows raised. In one way we can consider this a positive step taken in the interest of public welfare and a step in the right direction, the ground reality is far from satisfactory and does not warrant such a step.
The argument being put up is that the present funds being allocated to the MLAs are apparently underutilized or, as most people suspects, being misappropriated. 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 should be allowed to carry for central funded schemes. 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 ongoing Assembly Session has formulated many good will projects and schemes. All that has been formulated and passed in the budget are for the welfare of the people but than things could have been better of local bodies, clubs and organizations were provided rooms 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. Thanks to the new chief Minister over his assurance to complete pending project at his level best.
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.
Imphal Times Editorial