NCP targets Congress on unspent funds in Maharashtra
Mumbai, July 20 (IANS) Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar Friday lashed out at the state's Urban Development Department for failing to utilise its funds, indicating a rift in the ruling Congress-NCP alliance.
The department is handled by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Pawar's hard-hitting assertions are considered significant in view of the political developments in New Delhi earlier in the day.
Pawar, a Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader, said the department had repeatedly failed to use its funds for several projects and as a result, it became the target of opposition parties.
Pawar's remarks came in the Legislative Council during on a discussion on the lack of expenditure by various departments of the government on developmental projects.
Pawar said the funds allocated to various departments for annual planned expenditures were not spent appropriately, leading to complications and affecting development activities in the state.
He said the Urban Development Department (run by Chavan, a Congress leader) had become irresponsible since it had not spent funds allocated for projects and other developmental works.
"For instance, the department has utilised only Rs.2,299 crore out of the Rs.4,109 crore allocated to it in the last financial year," Pawar said.
He called upon all the departments to fully utilise the funds allocated by the union and state governments.
Pawar said he would conduct quarterly meetings to track the progress made by each department.
Raising the issue, BJP's Leader of Opposition in the council Vinod Tawde charged the state government of failing to seek funds from the union government for various projects.
"It is shocking that in Maharashtra, we are ruled by you (Congress-NCP), and in New Delhi also, the same parties hold the reins. But still you (Pawar) fail to bring funds for the state," Tawde said.
He cited the examples of Bihar and Andhra Pradesh which had brought in union government funds.
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