Nagaland

High Powered Committee diverting LADP fund for COVID expenditure is unconstitutional & illegal; NPF

High Powered Committee diverting LADP fund for COVID expenditure is unconstitutional & illegal; Naga People’s Front Legislature Party

Kohima, June 04 (NEx): The Naga People’s Front Legislature Party (NPFLP), on Thursday alleged that the State High Powered Committee on COVID-19 under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio, diverting the LADP fund to meet the COVID-19 expenditure is unconstitutional and illegal action.

A press release from the NPF Legislature Party, Spokesperson, Imkong L Imchen, stated that, as per government notification dated June 01, 2021, the High Powered Committee was constituted on policy matters relating to COVID-19 only, and was not mandated to encroach into the State Plan Budgetary mechanism.

It is pertinent to note that, on Wednesday, Government of Nagaland has notified that 25% of the LADP fund 2021 – 22, will be used to meet expenditure to fight and prevent further spread of COVID-19 in the State. ‘The amount so accumulated, Rs. 25 lacs each from all the constituency shall be kept with the respective DPDBs to utilize it to check the spread of the virus in the district, (including villages), as per the requirements of the respective District Task Forces,’ GoN notified.

The NPFLP stated that the, LADP which was initiated and implemented from 1991 under the then Chief Minister Late. Vamuzo with the caption “Compact Area Development”. From the very beginning, this fund was borne out of State Plan Fund and trust placed upon the MLAs for the development of their respective Assembly Constituency and therefore it is a legislative mandate monitored by the Department of Planning and Coordination (State Planning Board) with the Chief Minister as the Chairman, it said.

It further said that, the Guidelines were formulated and notified duly, which has the approval of the Legislative Assembly. Hence the LADP is within the domain of the Legislative Jurisdiction and therefore Planned and Voted money.

‘The HPC under no legal circumstances has the authority to divert this voted money to a different Head without routing through the Legislative Assembly. For this matter, the confidence (Vote) of the House was bypassed, therefore unconstitutional and illegal action/activity of the HPC and as such liable to be quashed or by another superseding notification to that effect,’ – NPFLP stated.

‘There is no provision in the Constitution of India that states that ‘Government of Nagaland is an Aristocratic Oligarchy’ but that it is a democratic government elected by the people, for the people for a people’s representative government with specified period of 5 years,’ it added.

However, the incumbent government is acting as an aristocratic Government negating all laid down democratic norms and procedures which is untenable, the NPF stated and also added that the HPC on COVID has no authority whatsoever to encroach into the Legislative domain, diverting Voted (Planned Funds/LADP) into the COVID-19 expenditure.

The State Government has been ignoring all established norms and procedures in the process of governing the State. The NPF Legislature Party can no longer tolerate the arbitrary and dictatorial functioning of the PDA government, led by the Chief Minister, Nephiu Rio, stated the press release.