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NPF may sue Govt., file RTI

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Alleges Govt. of “neglecting” their constituencies

KOHIMA, JUNE 9: Irked by the State Government’s decision to take away certain percentage of money from the Local Area Development Plan (LADP), the opposition Naga People’s Front (NPF) may resort to legal course of action.
Sources said NPF was likely to take the matter to the Court but party insiders said they are yet to decide.

However a senior NPF lawmaker said all options are open to address their objection.
Another party leader also said they are yet to decide. Another source said the Cock party was contemplating to file Right To Information (RTI) in an effort to unearth more information on receipt and utilization of funds for COVID-19 pandemic.
The Government has recently claimed that funds are being utilized in a transparency manner, which can be checked from the websites of Departments.
NPF lawmakers have strongly opposed the High Powered Committee’s (HPC) decision to deduct 25% from the LADP, which they said is Voted Money and that HPC has no mandate to act on voted money.
Lately NPF has been castigating the State Government for its unilateral decision and demanded the decision be reverted. But the HPC headed by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has remained mum on the issue. The People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) – a conglomeration of NDPP, BJP and an Independent – has defended the Government over utilization of funds sanctioned for COVID-19.
The Government through a notification issued on June 2 stated that in pursuance to the decision of the HPC, in its meeting held on May 28, 25% of the LADP fund 2021-22 will be used to meet expenditure to fight and prevent further spread of COVID-19. Further the 25% will include 15% Common Pool fund as indicated in the LADP guidelines III D and in addition 10% from the normal fund without touching the Iconic Project fund of Rs. 50 lakh per constituency.
The amount so accumulated Rs. 25 lakh each from all the constituencies will be kept with the respective DPDBs to utilize it to check the spread of the virus in the districts as per the requirement of the district task force. “Planning and Finance Department shall take expeditious action to release the fund and place the same to the respective DPDBs for necessary action”, the notification stated.
But this has not convinced the Opposition who had slammed the Government for taking arbitrary decision, overriding the Nagaland State Assembly.

Former Assembly Speaker and NPF lawmaker, Chotisuh Sazo said without doing works for the State, Ministers and Advisors are donating ambulances, equipments and materials for their constituencies and opposition constituencies are being neglected. “In my constituency there is hardly any significant work of the Government for the fight of COVID-19, in spite of receiving crores of rupees from the Government of India”, he lamented.
He said for the whole of his Chozuba constituency there is one 10-year-old Gypsy ambulance, not to speak of any life saving equipment. He further said there are 4 Primary Health Centres (PHCs) without doctors.
Sazo said no tangible fund was provided to the ADC and SMO, who are struggling while heading the Sub-Divisional Task Force for COVID-19. “We opposition Members are fighting COVID in our own respective Constituencies”, he added.
The former Speaker said whether LADP is deducted or not they are utilizing the money for the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. “The only source we have is LADP and the PDA Government is trying to deduct more from the LADP, which will affect us”, Sazo said.
(Page News Service)