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Now, Maharashtra MLAs can use public funds meant for development works for cultural events

An MLA can use the funds with prior approval from the government for social, cultural, literary, education, environment and sports activities

mumbai Updated: Sep 02, 2017 00:46 IST
Faisal Malik
Faisal Malik
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Maharashtra,Public funds

The Maharashtra government has allowed all its 288 MLAs to use local area development (LAD) funds for works other than development. An MLA can now spend Rs 20 lakh in a year for cultural and social events organised by NGOs. However, the MLAs cannot spend more than Rs5 lakh on each activity. The proposal will also have to be approved by the state finance minister.

Under MLA LAD scheme, each MLA gets funds of Rs2 crore in a year for development works in his or her constituency. As a special case, the government used to earlier allow them to use the funds for works other than development works. But now, the government has revised guidelines for using the MLA LAD funds, by issuing a GR, allowing funds to be spent on such causes, officially.

Now, an MLA can use the funds with prior approval from the government for social, cultural, literary, education, environment and sports activities. “A group of MLAs can also come together to fund such activities in their constituencies. However, they can’t spend more than Rs20 lakh on each event collectively,” said a senior official from state planning department.

The MLAs can now also fund small infrastructure related works in government granted schools. This includes construction of compound wall, classroom etc, he added.

The district collectors will have to verify credibility of such institutions by asking for their registration certificate and three year audit report.

However, this move could become controversial. Several politicians also run schools aided by the government, where now they can legitimately divert these funds. Congress MLA Arif Naseem Khan welcomed the step. “Allowing to use funds for development works for education, sports and environment related activities is a good move,” Khan told HT.

First Published: Sep 02, 2017 00:46 IST