The opposition Congress on Thursday said the surrendering of funds speaks volume about the overall focus and priority of the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government.
“If you cannot absorb the money which has been released to you then what happens you deprive the state of that fund. If you delay by three years that means you have deprived further funds coming because the same amount which should have come the subsequent year will not come,” Leader of Opposition Mukul Sangma told reporters.
He was reacting to the CAG report which pointed out that the state government had surrendered Rs 5242.30 crore out of Rs 6003.39 crore total savings last year, denying utilization of savings for other developmental purposes.
“The present government’s priority and focus is not on those areas which can bring the turn around in the progress and prosperity of the state in other words, the progress and prosperity of the state, the momentum at which it would have been seen has been dislocated,” Sangma said.
Stating that this concern was also raised in the Assembly, the leader of opposition said he had referred to certain programmes, which should have been considered as low hanging fruits or ready made resources made available to the government because of the initiatives of the preceding government.
“Since we were the authors that time we know what those programmes are. They (present govt) were having money, they were sitting on money, they were not spending, you see. What they say is different but what is the reality is a different thing. So all these facts and figures only substantiate what I say,” he added.
Referring to a number of pending projects, Sangma said that the status of the medical college funded by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is completely at standstill.
He also talked about the funds by the World Bank for the road network under the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways adding the programmes under the SARDP-NE are all supported and funded by JICA.
He added that state roads and state highways, the inter-district roads and various other important roads which are considered economically important roads, are covered by the funds under MITP by the World Bank.
Sangma also questioned the status of the NH 127 (B), which according to him is one of the most important projects ever sanction in the North East with a bridge over Brahmaputra which is going to be the longest bridge over the river connecting Dhubri, Assam to Phulbari in Garo Hills.
The Congress leader further alleged that there are serious irregularities in the utilization of funds.
“The fact that they have not been able to submit the Utilization Certificates (UCs) against those funds which they have received from different lines ministries indicates that they have not utilized the funds for the purpose and that is why they could not submit the UCs and that’s why the delay and that’s why the deprivation of the state,” he said.