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Malik reverses Vohra’s order, restores CDF for MLAs

SP Sharma | Jammu |

The new Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Satya Pal Malik reversed his predecessor NN Vohra’s order by restoring the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) of members of the Legislative Assembly.

The fund had been put in suspended animation after the fall of Mehbooba Mufti government on 19 June. Malik also authorised legislators to inaugurate projects and infrastructure related works in the state.

After meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and other senior BJP leaders in New Delhi, the first step Malik took after his return to Srinagar on Wednesday afternoon was to reverse some orders that Vohra had issued in pursuance of good governance and transparency.

Vohra had ordered the Planning Department not to release CDF for any project identified by MLAs after 20 June when the Assembly was placed under suspended animation after imposition of Governor’s rule. Legislators are sanctioned Rs 3 crore each for development of their constituencies.

Vohra had also barred politicians from inaugurating government infrastructure and ordered that all completed buildings and other infrastructure projects should be made functional without waiting for formal inauguration as wait would amount to wastage of resources.

However, Malik directed that all such public projects completed through state funding could be inaugurated by legislators and other public representatives. He ordered that the elected representatives be requested to inaugurate all such projects in their respective constituencies and dedicate them to citizens for early use.

Malik after returning from New Delhi ordered that the CDF scheme shall continue to be operational in the state without any time limit. “Legislators shall continue to recommend works under the CDF scheme subject to availability of funds in their respective accounts and in tune with the guidelines of the scheme.”

During a review of development projects, Malik was informed that in view of nonutilisation of substantial amount of CDF, directions were issued to deputy commissioners to continue sanctioning works under the said scheme till 30 September.

The Governor, however, instructed that new timeline shall not apply anymore and works could be sanctioned as long as funds existed.

Malik observed that unhindered continuation of the CDF scheme was essential to ensure that the elected representatives respond to the developmental issues expeditiously.