Opposition grills SPF Govt on PMGSY
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 15: The SPF Government came under the line of firing from the Opposition over the mismanagement of PMGSY scheme in the State during question hour of the Assembly today.

Raising the question, Opposition MLAs M Nilachandra and M Sovakiran grilled Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister regarding the fund utilisation of the scheme released in 2002-03.Other Opposition members also joined in and at that moment, Chief Minister O Ibobi stepped in and took it upon himself to answer the questions raised.

Explaining the root cause for the delay in implementing the scheme in certain districts, N Loken said that there were delays in receiving the project proposal for the term 2002-03 from the districts.

Moreover the process of obtaining the DRP approval from the STA at Silchar was not finalized, he said.

For the period 2000-01 a sum of Rs 40 crores was received from the Centre, informed the Minister and added that Rs 20 crores has been released for its implementation while the remaining Rs 20 crores has been entered into the State account.

Another Rs 40 crores has also been released by the Centre for 2001-02.Joining in, a host of Opposition MLAs including Henry Paotei, Dr Nimaichand Luwang and Samuel Jendai stood up all at the same time to ask questions.

However Nilachandra was told to go ahead with the questioning first.

Launching a series of charges against the Government, M Nilachandra said that contracts are being awarded without checking the antecedents of contractors.

Moreover there have been instances when contractors who have been cleared in the prequalification checks were not issued tender forms, said the MLA adding that some have even approached the Court in this connection.

Though the question was directed towards N Loken, Chief Minister O Ibobi stepped in and chose to answer the points raised by the MLA.

Clearing the stand of the Government, the Chief Minister said that though the scheme has been implemented hastily, care is taken to see that quality of the work executed is not compromised at any cost.

He said that the final bill of the contractor is passed only if the work is found to be satisfactory.

If the work is below par then the work has to redone all over again, he maintained.

Elaborating further, the Chief Minister said out of the Rs 40 crores received for the scheme in 2000-01 Rs 20 lakhs have been released.

The rest have been entered into the State account and will be released only if the works executed are satisfactory.

The Centre has also released another Rs 40 crores for 2001-02 and the same has been entered in the account of the Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Development Dept.

The fund will not be affected by the RBI ban, he added.

An obviously unconvinced Dr Nimaichand Luwang questioned in which account the remaining Rs 20 crores has been entered into to which the Chief Minister replied that he would give he exact account in the evening session but nevertheless added that it is not Account number 8449.Henry Paotei charged that the PMGSY has not implemented properly in Senapati and listed a number of charges.

Samuel Jendai also accused the Government on many counts.

As the charges and counter charges stretched on for long Speaker TN Haokip asked all the members not to ask supplementary questions.

However Samuel Jendai said that the scheme has not been implemented according to the prescribed guidelines and added for good measures that statements can be given on the floor of the House but no one will be able to do the same under oath.

Jendai further said that the Chief Minister has also been unduly interfering in the implementation of the scheme and asked the CM to assure the House that he would not interfere in future.

Speaker TN Haokip over ruled the statements of Jendai and moved on to the next question.

As the discussion on PMGSY took up most of the time in the morning session only six of the nine agenda listed for the day could be discussed.