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AAP clarifies that it had not scrapped MLA fund

Friday, 21 February 2014 - 6:45pm IST | Agency: PTI

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) today clarified that its government had not scrapped the MLA Local Area Development Fund, so there was no question of Lt Governor restoring the funds.

The party further stated that it had also not discontinued the "Bhagidari" and "My Delhi I Care" schemes started by the previous Delhi government.

Reacting to media reports that AAP-led Delhi government had scrapped the MLA funds and that it has now been restored by Lt Governor Najeeb Jung, a party statment said, "The fact is that MLAs of the outgoing assembly had been provided the entire sum of Rs four crore per MLA per annum for the current financial year before the assembly was dissolved for the December 4 elections."

The statement said that after the AAP government was formed on December 28, 2013, it proposed an additional provision of Rs 30 lakh per MLA as the MLA development fund for the last few months of this financial year and had not scrapped the much talked about fund.

"The AAP has a considered and well thought opinion about the MLAs local area fund, but despite this stand its government did not take any decision on the issue in haste.

"The AAP has a principled position about the MLA Local Area Development Fund and is of the firm opinion that this fund, apart from the opaque and arbitrary manner in which it was being used, had also confined the MLAs performance to merely the way this fund was utilised," the statement added.

It noted that elected representatives, particularly MLAs and MPs have a wide range of functions and cannot merely be judged on the basis of how the local area fund was utilised.

The party said that it wanted all parties involved like the Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) to decide on funding of the MLA funds for which it wanted to bring the Swaraj Bill.

"The AAP firmly believes that key local stakeholders like the RWAs had no say in how this fund was spent and that is why it led to a complete disconnect between the elected representatives and the people.
"The concept of Swaraj for which the AAP government wanted to bring a bill in the state assembly was aimed at empowering the people at local (mohalla) level to decide how the fund meant for their local area should be spent," the statement said.

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