GUWAHATI, Sept 6 - The MLA local area development fund in Assam will henceforth be sanctioned on the lines of the MPLADS fund, with release of money for each legislator depending on utilisation of earlier instalments by each MLA.
Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told the Assembly today that from now on the old method of releasing money at one go for all MLAs will cease and funds will be released depending on spending of earlier allocations and submission of utilisation certificates.
He said that 60 per cent of the legislators have not been able to spend sufficient amounts from the local area development fund.
�The entire money is not released at once under MPLADS for parliamentarians. Now, it will be the same for MLAs in Assam. Local area development funds will be released as per spending and utilisation. So, the efficient MLAs will get funds quicker� Once 70 per cent of the fund is spent, the rest will be released,� Sarma said.
He added that the local area funds will not lapse but will be carried forward to the next fiscal in case any amount remains unspent in a particular financial year.
He said a similar procedure would also be adopted with regard to the �Suhrid� scheme under which Rs 50 lakh is allocated to each MLA for providing educational and health assistance to people.
Earlier, Congress MLA Ajanta Neog raised the issue of the MLA local area development fund being not released in time.
Dispur MLA Atul Bora pointed to difficulties faced by legislators with regard to access to and use of the local area development fund and suggested that the Assembly Speaker be tasked with handling the fund.
Bora said that accounts should be opened for all the 126 MLAs where the fund will be deposited and a high powered committee of the Assembly should be constituted to ensure that there is no misuse.