Dimapur, January 11: After NPF legislators from Kohima and Mokokchung questioned the PDA Government on allocation of grant-in-aid to the Village Development Boards, NPF MLAs from Phek and Wokha Districts have intensified the attack demanding the Chief Minister and the PDA Government to come clean on the issue.
In a statement, four NPF legislators from Phek – Kuzholuzo Neinu (19-Phek), Yitachu (20-Meluri), Chotisuh Sazo (18-Chazouba) and Kazhienyi Khalo (17-Chizami) accused the Department of Rural Development of giving “flimsy excuse” in an attempt to shield the PDA mismanagement of grant-in-aid (GIA), by giving a press release “with pompous technical terms to confuse the general public.”
“The claims of the department, that fund was released to two districts and some blocks of another, has been disavowed by the respective districts. We, as people elected representative of Phek district would like to seek clarification as to how the district of Phek is being denied the same even after a lapse of almost a year of the funds being cleared from the State finance department,” they asked.
Accusing the department of now passing the buck to Central Ministry’s guidelines for the non-payment of GIA, the statement said this is nothing short of incompetence on the part of the State Government and the department.
“Are not the State government and department in place to work and assist the public and accordingly accord them the benefits that the Centre grants? The department should not be adherent to safeguard the misdeeds of a few vested interest individual by making unsubstantiated claims at the expense of poor innocent villagers. The delay of almost a year is uncalled for and the department should take utmost care when it comes to the schemes which the Centre is providing lest a small and economically weak State like Nagaland is refused further sanctions for misuse and mismanagement of the funds.”
On the claims of the department that non-availability of bank account has been one of the restrictions and that it was enforced in the beginning of April 2018, the NPF legislators asked, “If so, would the department care to explain as to how the MGNREGA scheme has been implemented for the past years?”
On the total violation of the Central Ministry’s guidelines of constituting a High Level Committee and accordingly working out a sub-allocation by the HLC for the special additional grant, the statement said the Rural Department has overlooked this matter and changed the approved sub-allocation done by the High Level Committee under the chairmanship of the State Chief Secretary.
Asking the Chief Minister who is also the Minister in-charge of the RD Department to explain as to how the sub-allocation given to the communitized departments as per their requirements has been drastically reduced to bare minimum, the Phek NPF MLAs asked if the advice of the Advisor of RD Department was even taken when the Government decided to disregard the High Level Committee.
“This act of the government is an all out declaration of how this NDPP led government would continue to undermine the democratic system and the wishes of the people of Nagaland,” they said.
Wokha: The lone NPF legislator from Wokha District, Dr Chumben Murry (38 Wokha) said the recently discovered anomaly in the management of GIA by the Rural Department may just be the tip of the iceberg.
Chumben said interaction with VDB secretaries at Wokha had revealed that schemes have long since been submitted, however, Wokha District has not received the GIA backlog.
“Parking money meant for development for a prolong period is not acceptable and the Department owes explanation to the people. The Department will also have to clarify as to why allocation made to departments viz, H&FW; School Education; Power Dept.; PHED etc by the High Power Committee (HPC) which is headed by the Chief Secretary was ignored and curtailed and for what purpose.”
The 38 Wokha MLA urged the Governor of Nagaland to institute an impartial inquiry and also at the same time urged the Rural Department to immediately release the backlog for Wokha District.
(Page News Service)