Constituency Development Fund (CDF) is a certain amount of money which the State Government allows an elected representative to the State Legislature (both Houses) for spending on works of public utility in their respective constituencies. So far it was fixed at 1.5 crore rupees but according to a recent order of the Government it has now been enhanced to rupees 3 crore and can be operated from the current financial year. The law makers will be very happy because with enhanced amounts at their disposal they can provide more services to their constituencies and win for themselves the favour and support of the people. Democracy is the science of dealing with the people and the demands of the people are mostly centered in basic necessities of life.
However, the Government, while enhancing the amount of CDF, has also provided some guidelines of utilizing the amount and the areas have also been identified. It is not all free for the law makers to expend the allocated amount according to their freewill. Some norms have been set forth essentially in view of pursuing development in all sectors. The wisdom and understanding of the law makers is not to be questioned for they are the precise persons who know what the priorities of their constituencies are. This is perhaps a very reasonable way of not allowing any Areas/constituency to go neglected especially in the case of prioritized needs like bridges, dams, roads, schools, parks, health centers and the rest of it. Obviously while deciding the items on which expenditure has to be incurred, the concerned MLA/MLC will have to take on board the Sarpanch and Panchs of the constituency as well as the revenue and engineering functionaries so as to make the project in hand viable and implementable within specific time. It has to be noted by the law makers that the guidelines clearly state that they will not leave behind the backlog meaning once they are not on the helm of affairs any backlog that would involve financial commitments would not be entertained. In simpler language it means that the MLAs or MLCs shall have to plan the utilization of the CDF in a way that with the expiry of their term in the office nothing is left as arrears.
In final analysis, we welcome the decision of the Government but at the same time we think that the onus of proper utilization of the enhanced funds squarely rests with the elected representatives.