News Alerts
prev next

No justification for enhancing MLA Scheme

Editor,

I am deeply troubled by the news report regarding the enhancement of the MLA Scheme to Rs 2 crore per annum. I recall how I had tried to oppose it’s enhancement to even Rs 50 lakhs, but to no avail. My opposition is not because I envy the enhancement, but because it goes against the spirit of development and the ethos of democracy.

Elected representatives, once they become members of the Legislative Assembly, have the Government machinery at their disposal. Whether they belong to the treasury or to the opposition, they can summon, discuss, question, or even demand information and support from the bureaucracy. If the system does not respond, they can raise a hue and cry inside the august House. If “red tape” delays the implementation of the scheme, then ask to review the guidelines. That is their right as elected members of the Assembly. In this manner, they can bring development to their constituencies by making proposals that conform to the departmental guidelines, and ensure that the schemes are implemented for the welfare of their constituents. They do not require a special allocation to develop their constituency as this can cause duplication of work as well as difficulties in monitoring the developmental process.

While agreeing that some expenses incurred by MLAs do not fall within the guidelines of departmental schemes, such as assistance given to the bereaved family of a constituent. To facilitate quick and easy assistance in such, and similar, cases, each MLA may be given an annual scheme that should not exceed Rs 15lakhs per annum. When such huge amounts are given to MLAs, it creates potential problems for everyone except the MLA concerned. First and foremost, the scheme is used to develop the MLA’s political career rather than the constituency. Only those that support the MLA during the election are given assistance, while opponents are completely ignored. In this manner the electorate can be put under pressure to support the elected representative. This goes against the spirit of democracy.

Further, those whose names do not appear in the electoral rolls are not given any assistance, even if they are deserving of that assistance. In fact, I know of MLAs who refuse to meet people staying in rented accommodation within their constituency because their names are not in the rolls of that constituency. Don’t these persons also deserve a hearing?

Secondly, in a scenario where the Government does not have money to buy medicines for it’s PHCs and to pay salaries to their teachers, or to maintain the quarters allotted to constables in the police reserve, how do we justify giving such huge sums for the development of a person’s political career? This, to me, is bad in law and bad politics.

If the present MLAs lack the confidence to approach the bureaucracy to justify their proposals for the development of their constituencies as they should be doing, shouldn’t we be electing more capable representatives instead of diverting development funds to help them overcome their handicaps? As it is, we judge an MLA’s success by the number of times they are elected instead of by the number of developmental schemes they bring to the constituency. This enhancement of the MLA scheme only helps them distribute fish to make them more indispensable – I read that they want to “buy gifts like handbags and utensils instead of creating public assets” (ST dated 9thMay, 2016)Teaching the constituents to fish, rather than the distribution of fish, is true development.

The Chief Minister is happily pushing the enhancement through because it makes him more politically powerful. An example is the reason given by the Tura MLA to support the Chief Minister’s candidate in the MP election. Your newspaper quoted him giving enhanced MLA scheme as one of the reasons.

I call on all right thinking people, who truly care about the right type of development and the right type of democracy, to register their opposition to this enhancement and to call instead for its reduction. I have registered my protest herewith.

 

Yours etc.,

 

R G Lyngdoh

Former MLA.

Via email

 

Recharge card menace

Editor,

Recently I had purchased a top-up card of Reliance Company to recharge my phone but when I scratched the card in order to see the recharge number for recharging my phone, some of the numbers were torn and became illegible. I broached the matter with the shop keeper but he expressed that he could not help me in this reLetters to the Editor must have the full name, address and contact number of the writer, even if they are sent by email. Only letters with the requisite details will be published. gard so finally I had to forego my Rs 30. In other words I lost Rs.30 and this has happened to me several times. I feel that the main reason behind this is the use of thin paper for covering the number in the recharge voucher and also use of delicate encryption of the recharge numbers therein. This practice has been adopted by almost all the mobile recharge vendors and due to this problem the consumers are suffering monetary loss and the entire benefit goes to the company. Earlier these companies used thick paper for covering the recharge number in the recharge voucher but nowadays it is apparent that they are using this deceptive method in order to dupe the public. I urge the state and the central government to check this problem and curb the menace.

Yours etc.

Md Sageer,

Shillong-2

You might also like More from author

Comments