<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="90%" align=center border=0><TBODY><TR><TD colSpan=2>OGP slams CM on fund use

Statesman News Service

BHUBANESWAR, June 4: A government which shouts from rooftops about Central neglected and announces programmes to fill up the shortfall in Central allocation is unable to provide figures amount of Central funds and its expenditure in rural electrification sector, charged OGP MLA Mr Arun Dey.

Moving a breach of privilege notice against energy minister Mr SN Patra in the Assembly today Mr Dey said Mr Patra had replied to two questions on rural electrification saying data are under collection. One of the questions was details of funds given by the Centre from 2000-07 towards rural electrification and expenditure of such funds, the answer given by Mr Patra is “ information is under collection.” The second relates to what steps have been taken by the government to cover hamlets which do not fall under the RGGVY scheme ~ again the answer was the same.

This proves that either the CM who spoke of Central neglect and announced new schemes was fooling the people or the energy minister is totally ignorant, chided Mr Dey. If the government is unable to give figures of Central allocations for rural electrification, how can it raise the issue of Central neglect, he wondered.

Even worse was the fact that the reply given by Mr Patra is a day after the finance minister, Mr PC Ghadei, placed the budget and said Rs 50 crore had been allotted for the new Biju Gramin Jyoti yojana for rural electrification.

If Mr Patra is a member of the Cabinet and the Cabinet had approved the budget he ought to have replied to the question on what steps were being taken by the government by saying that a new programme had been launched, stated Mr Dey.

Mr Dey went on the charge that of the 90 per cent of the questions asked the CM, the reply is “ information is under collection.” While the same information can be availed of by spending just Rs 20 under the RTI Act, why should MLAs be paid a hefty sum to come to the Assembly where they they get such a response, he quipped sarcastically.

The Statesman

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