Kona for more leeway for MLAs in funds utilisation

The winter session of the Legislative Assembly is likely to be conducted in December, according to Deputy Speaker Kona Raghupati.

The government had tabled many Bills during the budget session and might table a few more, particularly on land reforms, in the winter session, Mr. Raghupati told The Hindu.

“There is scope for discussion on subjects such as constituency development fund in the winter session,” Mr. Raghupati said.

Referring to the Andhra Pradesh Land Titling Act, 2019, that was passed by the Assembly, he said it was aimed at creating permanent land records and issuing digital cards to the farmers and landowners.

“Taking forward the land reforms and fulfil the promises made, the government may come up with a few more Bills. The government can translate its promises into action by issuing GOs. But since GOs can be cancelled, the government is introducing Bills as they are binding,” he said.

Constituency development

Stating that fruitful discussions had been witnessed during the last session, Mr. Raghupati said that the legislators should discuss about development of their constituencies in the Assembly.

“The funds sanctioned under the Assembly Constituency Development Programme (ACDP) are not sufficient. At least ₹100 crore per annum is needed for each constituency, which comes to ₹17,500 crore per annum for the 175 constituencies. This is just 10% of the State budget. The MLAs can do wonders if the funds are at their disposal. The funds can be at the disposal of the district Collector, who in turn will release it for the works suggested by the MLA concerned,” he said.

“The legislators have no control over the funds. At the ground level, it is the bureaucrat who takes a call on releasing the funds. The MLAs can plan properly and prioritise the needs if they have control over the funds. As priorities change from village to village, one common programme for the entire constituency / State may not yield the desired result,” Mr. Raghupati said.

To a question on the village secretariat and volunteer system, Mr. Raghupati said that it had come to his notice that a few second and third rung leaders were feeling insecure.

“Some of them have the apprehension that their role will be minimal if the volunteers go around to identify the beneficiaries. But they need to realise that they have a much bigger role to play. They should not become a hurdle in the process. The satisfaction level among the people has increased with the introduction of the new system. People are now happy that they are enjoying the fruits of welfare schemes without any need for political recommendation,” he said.


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