Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 28:
The Union ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has revealed that 15 MPs of Odisha, including 13 BJD MPs in the Lok Sabha, have not spent a single pie from their Member of Parliament Local Area Development (MPLAD) fund in the last one year.
Of the 15 BJD MPs (13 Lok Sabha MPs and two Rajya Sabha members), leader of the BJD Parliamentary Party and Cuttack MP Bhartruhari Mahatab, who plays the mouthpiece of the state government in Praliament and is supposed to safeguard the interests of Odisha, has unfortunately forgotten his responsibility to utilise the MPLAD fund for the development of his area.
The remaining 12 MPs who have not utilised MPLAD funds are Kendrapara MP Baijayant Panda, Puri MP Pinaki Mishra, Aska MP Ladu Kishore Swain, Baleswar MP Rabindra Kumar Jena, Koraput MP Jhina Hikaka, Mayurbhanj MP Rama Chandra Hansda, Nabarangpur MP Balabhadra Majhi, Bargarh MP Pravas Kumar Singh, Kandhamal MP Pratyusha Rajeswari Singh and Sambalpur MP Nagendra Pradhan.
Of the 13 MPs, nine have neither made any recommendation nor given any proposal for utilisation of MPLAD fund.
Besides, BJD Rajya Sabha Member AU Singhdeo and Congress Rajya Sabha member Ranjib Biswal have not spent a single pie from the MPLAD fund.
Even the BJP MP from Sundargarh and Union Tribal Affairs minister Jual Oram has failed to utilise the fund appreciably. The Union minister, in the last one year, has spent only Rs 50 lakh out of a total sanctioned fund of Rs 10 crore. However, he has recommended work order of Rs 3.21 crore recently.
However, the performance of the remaining eight MPs has been satisfactory as they have spent Rs 49.70 crore from their MPLAD fund by May 22 this year.
However, Bhubaneswar MP Prasanna Patsani has spent Rs 1.30 crore from his fund in the last one year, the report prepared by the department of Statistics and Programme Implementation said.
Sources in the ministry said that the Centre had sanctioned Rs 210 crore MPLAD fund for 21 MPs (Rs 10 crore each) in May last year of which it has released Rs 67.50 crore (Rs 2.5 crore each).
Out of Rs 67.50 crore, these MPs have been able to spend only Rs 4.70 crore by May 22 this year.