Mumbai: Members of Parliament (MP) in the 16th Lok Sabha utilised 85% of the developmental funds they were allocated, leaving 15% unutilised--Rs 1,806.08 crore of the total amount of Rs 12,051.36 crore, a remainder larger than the Rs 1,700 crore that the Tamil Nadu government will spend to build 100,000 houses for people displaced by Cyclone Gaja.

MPs from Meghalaya, Delhi, Chandigarh, Gujarat and Sikkim led the country in utilising their funds, while Goa had the highest percentage (22.54%) left unutilised. Nagaland saw no project recommended or amount sanctioned in the priority health and family welfare sectors, while Jammu & Kashmir saw only Rs 1.43 lakh sanctioned and Himachal Pradesh, just Rs 5,000.

The Members of Parliament (MP) Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) enables parliamentarians to recommend developmental work in their constituencies, based on local needs. Under the scheme, each MP is allocated Rs 5 crore per year of their tenure, to suggest works to be taken up in districts in his/her constituency to the district collector, the top administrative official in each district.

Preference is given to works relating to priority sectors, such as provision of drinking water, public health, education, sanitation, roads, etc. The role of MPs is limited to recommending works. Thereafter, it is the responsibility of the district authorities to sanction, execute and complete the works within the stipulated time period, as per MPLADS guidelines. The funds are non-lapsable i.e., if any portion of an MP’s yearly fund remains unutilised at the end of the term, it is transferred to the next elected MP from the respective constituency.

Note that the formula used in the government’s MPLADS data to calculate the utilisation percentage is: expenditure incurred by the district authority divided by funds released by the government. As the expenditure incurred is out of the amount available with the district authority and includes interest and previous unspent money, the utilisation percentage can be greater than the funds released; thus giving an unrealistic higher-than-100% result in some cases.

IndiaSpend calculated the utilisation percentage by dividing the expenditure incurred by the district authority with the final amount of MPLADS funds available with the authority for spending on works recommended by an MP, which may include unlapsed MPLADS funds.

Utilisation of MPLADS funds in priority sectors

In the education sector, West Bengal (Rs 44.41 crore) saw the highest funds sanctioned by district authorities on the recommendation of MPs of the 16th Lok Sabha, followed by Punjab (Rs 35.62 crore) and Tamil Nadu (Rs 27.85 crore).

The least amount sanctioned for education works was in Nagaland, with just Rs 100 sanctioned for four works. The amount sanctioned in Mizoram was Rs 20 lakh followed by Rs 35.93 lakh in Jammu and Kashmir.

West Bengal (Rs 39.97 crore) and Punjab (Rs 9.7 crore) also lead in terms of highest funds sanctioned for health and family welfare works, followed by Gujarat (Rs 6.25 crore) and Tamil Nadu (Rs 4.64 crore), respectively.

Nagaland saw no project recommended or amount sanctioned under MPLADS in the health and family welfare sector. In Jammu & Kashmir, only Rs 1.43 lakh was sanctioned, while in Himachal Pradesh only Rs 5,000 was sanctioned.

For sanitation and public health, yet again Punjab and West Bengal lead, with Rs 23.46 crore and Rs 17 crore sanctioned, respectively, followed by Rs 9.72 crore in Telangana. Nagaland and Himachal Pradesh lagged in this priority sector too. Almost nothing was sanctioned under MPLADS for sanitation and public health in Nagaland, while Rs 12 lakh was sanctioned in Himachal Pradesh, followed by Rs 14 lakh in Uttarakhand.

In the drought-hit regions of Vidarbha and Marathwada in Maharashtra, 27% of MPLADS funds--or Rs 58.1 crore of Rs 211.68 crore--remained unspent. In the Amravati region of Vidarbha comprising Akola, Amravati, Buldhana, Yavatmal and Washim districts, out of Rs 71.2 crore available Rs 57.03 crore was spent, with Rs 14.18 crore unspent.

In Marathwada region, comprising Aurangabad, Beed, Jalna, Osmanabad, Nanded, Latur, Parbhani, Hingoli districts--out of Rs 140.48 crore available, Rs 118.5 crore was spent while Rs 21.96 crore lies unspent.

MPs with highest utilisation of funds

The top five MPs upon whose recommendations funds were utilised the most (99.9%) by district authorities are Rama Kishore Singh (Vaishali, Bihar), Neiphiu Rio (Nagaland), Harsh Vardhan (Chandni Chowk, Delhi), Conrad Sangma (Tura, Meghalaya) and TG Venkatesh Babu (Chennai North, Tamil Nadu). Dipsinh Shankarsinh Rathod, MP for Sabarkantha, Gujarat, saw 99.8% of his MPLADS funds utilised based on his recommendations.

Rama Kishore Singh was entitled to Rs 25 crore for his full 5-year tenure, out of which Rs 22.5 crore was released. The district authority spent Rs 24.40 crore out of Rs 24.41 crore available, which included interest and previous unspent amount. The highest amount sanctioned by the district authorities for works recommended by MPs in Bihar was Rs 6.5 crore for the construction of road, railways, bridges and pathways.

Harsh Vardhan’s entitlement was Rs 25 crore, out of which Rs 10 crore was released by the government. The district authority spent Rs 14.08 crore out of Rs 14.09 crore; Rio’s district authority spent Rs 20.11 crore out of Rs 20.12 crore, Sangma’s district authority Rs 10.07 crore out of Rs 10.08 crore and Babu’s district authority spent Rs 26.80 crore out of Rs 26.84 crore available. Rathod’s district authority spent Rs 21.08 out of Rs 21.11 crore.

MPs with least utilisation of funds

Five MPs recording zero utilisation of their MPLADS funds all had truncated tenures, ranging from 1 to 2.5 years. The government released Rs 17.5 crore based on recommendations by Nana Falgunrao Patole, Lok Sabha MP for Bhandara-Gondiya from May 2014 to December 2017, but none was spent by the district authority, making the utilisation percentage zero. Other MPs who had their funds released by the government but none was spent by their respective district authorities are Sarbananda Sonowal (Rs 7.5 crore), MP from Lakhimpur, Assam from May 2014 to May 2016 and Srihari Kadiyam (Rs 5 crore), MP for Warangal in Telangana for just over a year, from May 2014 to June 2015.

Two MPs elected late in the term of the 16th Lok Sabha, Sarfaraz Alam elected as MP for Araria in March 2018 and Venkatapura Subbaiah Ugrappa, elected MP from Ballari in Karnataka in November 2018, had their Rs 2.5 crore each unutilised.

States with highest utilisation of MPLADS funds

Source: MPLADS

The top five states with highest percentage of MPLADS funds utilised are Meghalaya, Delhi, Chandigarh, Gujarat and Sikkim. Here is how MP funds were spent in each of these states.

In Meghalaya, the district authorities utilised 92.17% (Rs 40.26 crore out of Rs 43.68 crore) of the MPLADS funds available. A total of 282 roads and railways projects worth Rs 7.4 crore were sanctioned. Rs 2.6 crore was sanctioned for the construction of community centres, public facility schemes, boundary walls, etc. Rs 1.47 crore was sanctioned for the sports sector and Rs 85.4 lakh for public toilets and bathrooms, drains and other works under sanitation sector. For education works, Rs 72 lakh was sanctioned and for drinking water facilities like water tanks, tubewells and other schemes, Rs 57 lakh.

The district authorities of Delhi used 91.46% (Rs 122.9 crore out of Rs 134.47 crore) of the fund available with MPs, with Rs 11.48 crore unspent.

The Chandigarh government released Rs 22.5 crore on the recommendation of MP Kirron Kher. The district authorities spent Rs 25.42 crore (91.21%) out of the Rs 27.87 crore available. Rs 17.849 lakh was sanctioned for the construction of public toilets and bathrooms in Chandigarh.

The district authorities of Gujarat used Rs 559.39 crore out of Rs 613.37 crore (91.20%) of MPLADS money available. In Gujarat, around Rs 56.71 crore were sanctioned by the district authorities for 2,743 projects under roads and rail sector. Rs 26.75 crore were sanctioned for projects under public facilities sector, Rs 8.6 crore for education sector, Rs 8.44 crore for drinking water facilities, Rs 6.25 crore for health and family welfare sector, Rs 4.91 crore for electricity sector and Rs 2.97 crore for sanitation and public health.

The district authorities of Sikkim used Rs 20.16 crore of MPLADS fund out of Rs 22.23 crore (90.69%) available. The highest amount sanctioned was Rs 720.87 lakh for construction of flood control embankments, public irrigation facilities, public ground water recharging and other schemes under irrigation sector. Under education works, Rs 623.48 lakh was sanctioned for projects, buildings and computer for government educational institutions, and other schemes. Rs 451 lakh were sanctioned for public facilities like community centres, bus stops, crematoriums and other schemes. Rs 355.41 lakh were sanctioned for roads and railways sector, Rs 277.092 for electricity facilities and Rs 242.5 lakh for sanitation and public health.

States with lowest utilisation of MPLADS fund

Goa has the highest percentage of unutilised MPLADS funds, followed by Lakshadweep, Rajasthan, Assam and Tripura. In Goa, 22.54% of MPLADS funds available with district authorities lie unutilised. Out of Rs 35.41 crore, Rs 7.98 crore are unspent. Lakshadweep, the smallest Lok Sabha constituency by number of electors, used 78.14 % of MPLADS funds available, whereas Rs 4.6 crore out of Rs 21.04 crore (21.86%) lies unspent.

In Rajasthan, 21.46% of MPLADS funds available with the district authorities are unutilised. Out of Rs 531.05 crore, Rs 113.97 crore lie unspent. Assam and Tripura have 19.81% and 18.6% of unutilised fund respectively. In Assam, Rs 61.03 crore out of Rs 308.12 crore lie unspent while in Tripura, Rs 7.61 crore out of Rs 40.92 crore lie unspent.

(Ahmad is an intern at IndiaSpend.)

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