Minister cornered for ‘mismanaging’ funds 

Jammu: The Minister for Rural Development Abdul Haq Khan had to face angry ruling party legislators and the opposition for allegedly mismanaging the funds sanctioned under various central schemes.

The members from ruling as well as opposition parties on Thursday cornered the minister over mismanagement of funds in centrally sponsored schemes and the failure of the department to clear pending liabilities.

The lawmakers were speaking during on the grants of the department in the Lower House and accused the government of ‘misusing’ the centrally sponsored schemes to benefit the defeated candidates and political workers of a particular party.

The members also questioned the government over its decision to conduct Panchayat polls saying that it should rather focus on maintaining peace in state.

Ali Muhammad Sagar, senior NC leader asked the government to come clear on its stand and inform the House about its step taken to plead cases of Article 370 and 35 (A) in Supreme Court.

“Article 370 and 35 (A) should not have landed in judiciary. At first place challenging law of constitution is doubtful as in your Agenda of Alliance (AoA) you decided that there will be no tempering with Article 370,” he said, adding that the BJP contested elections claiming that they will scrap Article 370.

“BJP says they want to scrap Article 370 so the law minister should be cautious about it,” Sagar said.

Questioning the government decision to hold Panchayat polls Sagar said the government has failed to maintain peace which will be an impediment in holding Panchayat polls.

“I don’t think that decision to conduct Panchayat polls is good, focus should be on maintaining peace,” he said.

MLA Kanga, Mian Altaf said besides strengthening the Panchas and Sarpanchs, the government should maintain the credibility and accountability of the system.

“RDD has the most political and societal interference which mars its functioning,” he said.

The opposition legislator took a dig at the government and said the money of job card holders of MGNREGA scheme was swindled by mediators for which government should initiate investigation so that funds are utilized properly.

“Besides, department should keep 30 percent funds out of MGNREGA at the disposal of local MLA,” he said.

Ruling PDP MLA Abdul Majeed Paddar said the department should take a fresh survey in order to distribute money under IAY scheme to deserving people.  “Under Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) only 10 percent work has been done in my constituency and needs to be expedited,” he said.

Opposition Congress leader Nawang Rigzin Jora expressed concern over government decision to hold panchayat polls saying that the present situation was not feasible to involve one lakh candidates in polls.

“Your government couldn’t hold parliamentary polls for Anantnag constituency earlier and you were forced to postpone it 12 hours before the scheduled time despite making all the arrangements for it,” he said.

Congress MLA Muhammad Amin Bhat blamed the department for its failure to clear its liability in SBM scheme which are pending for past many years.

“The lower rung officials are involved in bungling of funds SBM which needs to be investigated. Bungling in SBM has created liabilities,” he said.






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