Four-time Bharatiya Janata Party’s Lok Sabha MP from Gurdaspur Vinod Khanna has been the worst performer among all Punjab parliamentarians in utilising the Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) funds, while Ferozepur MP Sher Singh Ghubaya has been the best, having utilised 90.63% of the Rs 12.5 crore allocated to him.
As per the data released by the ministry of statistics and programme implementation just before the completion of two-and-half years of the Narendra Modi government, Khanna could utilise only about 42% of his Rs 7.5 crore MPLADS funds as his deteriorating health has been keeping him away from the constituency.
Congress MP from Jalandhar Santokh Singh Chaudhary has been adjudged the second best as he utilised 89.05% of the Rs 7.5 crore he got.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann has been ranked sixth. He utilised 64.46% of the Rs 10 crore allocated to him under the MP fund.
Khadoor Sahib MP Ranjit Singh Brahmpura utilised 75% of his `10 crore. The remaining eight MPs got Rs 12.5 crore each (See box).
All 13 parliamentarians in Punjab were entitled to Rs 15 crore under MPLAD funds in the first three years of their term.
The amount released to Punjab MPs is 147.5 crore of the total entitlement of `195 crore. The average utilisation of funds comes out to 67%.
Meanwhile, a report released by the ministry on 21 October said that no funds were allocated to Khanna and Chaudhary after the first instalment in 2015-16 as they failed to submit monthly progress reports, audit and utilisation certificates, besides delay in sending proposals.
Explaining reasons for non-release of funds, Pathankot deputy economic and statistical adviser Ravinder Pal Dutta said: “Utilisation of funds of previous instalment is to be justified to claim more funds.”