GUWAHATI, Feb 23 � The Members of Parliament from Assam are often accused of not raising the issues concerning the State in the floor of the Parliament, and now it has come to notice that they have failed to live up to the expectations even in spending their local area development funds. The performance of the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Bhubaneswar Kalita, who has been re-elected to the Rajya Sabha recently, is the worst in this regard.
According to records available, up to the first week of February this year, the entitlement of the APCC president was Rs 21 crore and he could spend only Rs 6.56 crore. Interestingly, Kalita even failed to spend his full amount in his previous term in the Rajya Sabha. In fact, none of the MPs from Assam could spend the amounts entitled to them for developing their constituencies.
As per records, the entitlement of Birendra Prasad Baishya up to February was Rs 21 crore and he, too, could not spend the entire amount. However, his performance was much better than that of Kalita as the AGP MP could spend Rs 17.35 crore. Among other Rajya Sabha members from the State, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh could spend Rs 35.81 crore of his entitlement of Rs 45.05 crore, Biswajit Daimary could spend Rs 11.07 crore of his entitlement of Rs 21 crore, Nazneen Farooqui spent Rs 13.05 crore out of Rs 17 crore, Pankaj Bora spent Rs 8.87 crore out of Rs 12.50 crore, while Santius Kuzzur could not spend a single paisa of his entitlement of Rs five crore.
Same is the case with the Lok Sabha members from Assam as none of them could spend their entitlement amounts. Up to February this year, the entitlement of all the Lok Sabha members from Assam was Rs 19 crore each and of which, Biren Singh Ingty could spend Rs 9.58 crore, Ismail Hussain could spend Rs 9.36 crore, Badruddin Ajmal could spend Rs 5.06 crore, Paban Singh Ghatowar spent Rs 14.20 crore, Bijoya Chakraborty spent Rs 14.47 crore, Dip Gogoi spent Rs 6.20 crore, LM Suklabaidya spent Rs 14.14 crore, SK Bwiswmuthiary spent Rs 18.80 crore, Ramen Kalita could spend Rs 14.86 crore, Rajen Gohain Rs 14.77 crore, Kabindra Purkayastha Rs 15.65 crore, Joseph Toppo Rs 11.76 crore, BK Handique Rs 16.10 crore and Ranee Narah could spend Rs 15.39 crore.
The MP�s Local Area Development Fund was launched in 1993 and each member was given Rs five lakh each per year for the development of their constituencies while Rajya Sabha members could spend their amounts in the entire State they represent.
The amount was later increased to Rs two crore a year and from 2011-12, it was further increased to Rs five crore a year.