Karnataka legislators lax in utilising local area development funds

The State’s 300 legislators, who have been seeking funds for works in their constituencies, don’t seem to be very serious when it comes to utilising the funds available under the Karnataka Legislators’ Local Area Development Scheme (KLLADS).

Though a whopping ₹1,108.50 crore was accumulated in the offices of Deputy Commissioners in 30 districts, only ₹377.3 crore was spent till last month. According to the data available, the average utilisation of funds in all districts stood at 34.3% as on December 31, 2019. While the legislators of Raichur district are at the bottom of the table. with just 9.88% utilisation of funds. Tumakuru tops with spending of 67.37%.

These funds are usually put to use for construction of anganwadis, schools, and hospital buildings, water conservation projects, roadwork and other development initiatives. Though the Chief Minister’s Office has written letters telling legislators to submit action plans for the pending amount for 2019-20, there has been a delay in submission of plans and provision of approval. In many cases, legislators have not even submitted action plans, sources in the Secretariat said.

Polls and rain

Factors such as frequent elections in 2019 (Lok Sabha, urban local bodies, and bypolls) and excessive rainfall, which made construction work difficult, are cited among the reasons for poor utilisation of funds in the first nine months of 2019. A nexus between contractors/officials and legislators to get “commissions” by implementing works is another reason for delay and non-utilisation of funds, sources said.

Besides Tumakuru, only four other districts have spent more than 50% of the funds — Hassan (60.59%), Koppal (57.61%) Kodagu (55.38%), and Udupi (53.4%). The legislators of Bengaluru Urban spent 30.2% of the amount available, while their counterparts in Bengaluru Rural performed better (47.57%).

Under this scheme, the districts in north Karnataka performed poorly in implementation of works. The districts that utilised less than 40% of the available funding are Gadag (13.21%), Kalaburagi (16.48%), Haveri (21.76%), Uttara Kannada (23.96%), Chitradurga (24.41%), Ballari (25.14%), Yadgir (26.09%), Dharwad (29.32%), and Vijayapura (29.64%).

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 7:59:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/karnataka-legislators-lax-in-utilising-local-area-development-funds/article30678951.ece

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