Govt enhances legislators’ CDF to Rs 1.5 Cr

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, May 8: The State Government has formally enhanced Constituency Development Fund (CDF) of the legislators including MLAs and MLCs from Rs 1 crore to Rs 1.5 crore per year from the current financial year of 2012-13. The increase has, however, been effected with some riders that the legislators would have to spend a particular amount under Power and Health sectors.
Significantly, the legislators, for the first time, have also been empowered to release amount not exceeding to Rs 8 lakh for helping poor patients purchase medicines or undergo diagnosis but only on the prescription of registered Physicians.
Official sources told the Excelsior that the General Administration Department (GAD) headed by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has issued orders for enhancement of CDF of the legislators from Rs 1 crore to Rs 1.5 crore from the current financial year that began on April 1, 2012.
They said Legislative Council Chairman, Amrit Malhotra, Assembly Speaker Mohammad Akbar Lone, Deputy Chairman MY Taing and Deputy Speaker Sartaj Madni, all Ministers and legislators have been issued a detailed circular on increase of CDF to Rs 1.5 crore, which contained some conditions on its expenditure by the MLAs and MLCs.
Deputy Commissioners-cum-District Development Commissioners would continue to act as Nodal Officers for expenditure of the CDF of the legislators.
Sources said out of a total of Rs 1.5 crore CDF, an expenditure of Rs 25 lakh on power sector has been made mandatory for the legislators.
“This had been done to ensure improvement in electricity supply especially in the rural areas’’, sources said, adding the MLAs/MLCs would identify the works to be executed under power supply scheme, which would be executed by the Power Development Department (PDD) after release of funds by the Deputy Commissioner. Installation of new transformers, change of transformer or laying electricity lines would also be covered under the power sector.
Expenditure of Rs 25 lakh on power sector from their Rs 1.5 crore CDF would be mandatory for the legislators. “If the MLAs/MLCs didn’t recommend Rs 25 lakh for power sector, this particular amount would lapse’’, sources said.
They added that the legislators have also been empowered to incur an amount up to Rs 10 lakh for development of sport activities in their respective segments.
However, most significantly, the MLAs/MLCs, for the first time, have been authorized to release up to Rs 8 lakh for purchase of medicines or undergoing tests duly prescribed by the registered/authorized Physicians for the poor patients, who were unable to afford their treatment.
In these case also, the payment would be released by the concerned Deputy Commissioners on the authorization of the legislators along with duly attested certificates of the doctors.
“There had been a long pending demand from the legislators that they should be allowed to help the ailing community by extending them monetary benefits through their CDF. The Government has conceded the demand and allowed the legislators to incur up to Rs 8 lakh for the welfare of ailing community’’, sources said.
The MLAs/MLCs had been getting Rs 50 lakh worth CDF till last year. However, it was in the last financial year (2011-12) that their CDF was doubled from Rs 50 lakh to Rs 1 crore with the assurance that it would be further enhanced to Rs 1.5 crore in the current financial year of 2012-13.
“The Government has honoured its commitment and issued orders for enhancing CDF of the legislators from the current financial year of 2012-13’’, sources said.
They pointed out that increase in CDF of the legislators would help not only in carrying out power reforms and development of sport activities besides helping the ailing community but also facilitate MLAs/MLCs to carry out development works of their areas.