Govt releases Rs 92.2 cr to clear entire CDF of all legislators

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Feb 23: The State Government has released entire pending Constituency Development Fund (CDF) of all 122 legislators, both MLAs and MLCs, for current financial year of 2015-16, thus, helping them to give pace to the developmental works initiated by the legislators from their quota of CDF.
Official sources told  that the State Government has cleared entire liability of approximate Rs 92.25 crores towards CDF of the legislators for current fiscal year, clearing 50 per cent of the remaining payment of the legislators on account of their total annual CDF worth Rs 1.5 crores.
“Before Mufti Mohammad Sayeed headed PDP-BJP Government ceased to exist on January 7 due to the death of Sayeed, the Government had cleared 50 per cent of the CDF amount  of the legislators i.e. Rs 75 lakh while half of their amount was pending,” sources said, adding the legislators through Speaker Kavinder Gupta had made representation to Governor N N Vohra for early release of remaining funds so that they could take up the developmental works for current fiscal year of 2015-16 for which less than 40 days were left.
Acting promptly, the Government has released full remaining payment of Rs 75 lakh of the legislators and cleared their total CDF worth Rs 1.5 crores each. The Government had to shell out about Rs 92.25 crores for clearing remaining payment of the CDF for legislators.
There were 88 MLAs in the Houses of 89 with one vacancy due to the death of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed while the Legislative Council has the strength of 34 in the House of 36 with two vacancies on account of Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) representatives.
A total of 122 legislators including two each Presiding Officers of Legislative Assembly and Council will benefit from the release of their full quota of CDF, sources said, adding that this will also help the legislators in expediting developmental works in their constituencies taken up from the CDF during current year of 2015-16, which incidentally was first financial year of the new Assembly, which was put under suspended animation by Governor N N Vohra on January 8 while imposing Governor’s Rule in the State in the absence of any Government formation due to the death of Mufti Sayeed.
Confirming release of entire CDF for current year, some of the legislators said that this would help them early identification and completion of works to be undertaken by them in their respective constituencies. However, they were of the view that entire CDF amount should be placed at their disposal at the start of financial year to help them identify and take up works for the year immediately instead of releasing the funds in installments, which was the case at present.
Meanwhile, Speaker Kavinder Gupta has already written to the State Government for enhancing the CDF of legislators from present Rs 1.5 crores per year to Rs 2 crore.
Sources said the previous PDP-BJP Government was considering the proposal seriously and there were reports that it could have been enhanced from the current financial year itself.
However, with the Government ceasing to exist, the proposal remained pending and a decision on it would now be taken by the newly former Government whenever it comes into place.
The Member’s Parliament Local Area Development (MPLAD) Fund presently stands at Rs 5 crore annually for each MP. However, the MP has much larger constituency than the MLAs/MLCs.
All MLAs and MLCs including Presiding Officers i.e. Chairman and Deputy Chairman of Legislative Council, Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Legislative Assembly apart from all the Ministers including the Chief Minister are entitled to the CDF.

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