Politician Tendulkar scores a duck for Mumbai suburbs

YET TO OPEN HIS ACCOUNT—The M.P. hasn't used his allotted funds for developmental work.

Tendulkar attending Parliament in 2013. Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar's inability to utilize the developmental funds, in his responsibility as a Rajya Sabha MP, is believed to be hurting the progress of the Mumbai suburbs. Tendulkar had been assigned Rs. 5 crore as part of the MP Local Area Development Fund (MPLAD) for the year 2013-14, which has not been put to proper use as a result of the 40-year-old’s negligence. Not only this, the former cricketer’s previous allotment of the same Rs. 5 crore for the year 2012-13 had also lapsed due to him not recommending any projects for the utilization of the funds.

Former President Pratibha Patil had nominated Tendulkar as a Member of Parliament in April 2012. A sum of Rs. 5 crore per year is assigned to each of the Members of Parliament from the MPLAD fund, which can be used for local development projects. In the past, the MPLAD funds were spent on developing of parking lots, beautification of seafront promenades and several others by the Rajya Sabha MPs.

Tendulkar, who has so far been entitled to a total of Rs. 10 crore to be used in the two years under the MPLAD scheme, had selected the Mumbai Suburban district as the location of his choice for development using the funds, according to the Rajya Sabha website.

In the time frame, he has not proposed any work to utilise these funds, and hence no sanction has been made by the government to use the funds under his disposal. Also, the 40-year-old has not raised any questions in the Upper House of the Parliament.

THIS WAS PREDICTED

Back in 2012, Tendulkar's nomination to Parliament was met with widespread bemusement, with many questioning whether the publicly apolitical batting superstar will have the time or inclination to serve as an MP.

"Frankly, I am at a loss for words," former Mumbai and India team-mate Sanjay Manjrekar had said. "I never realised these sort of things interested him. He is not one to express his views publicly and this would be a real test for him. I hope he can make a difference in Parliament."

Commentator Harsha Bhogle had said the nomination was a cynical ploy to gain "political mileage" out of Tendulkar. "I don't think it is the greatest idea," said Bhogle. "He does not have the experience of governing or doing social work."

TENDULKAR NOT THE ONLY UNDERPERFORMER

Tendulkar is not the only one to have their funds lapsed, with actor Rekha, also nominated to the Rajya Sabha by President Patil, joining him. She has not even selected the location where she wants the funds to be spent, while industrialist Anu Aga has fared better than her counterpart by recommending works worth Rs 3.47 crores to be spent in Pune, the district chosen by her.

Milind Deora, the Union Minister of State for Information Technology and Shipping, had written to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh earlier this year urging him to either streamline or completely replace the MPLAD fund scheme in a bid to enable skill training for youth from the same fund, thereby minimizing the misuse of these funds.

“Due to the large of size of a constituency, the complexity of infrastructure related project’s execution and difficulty of overseeing such projects, it causes mis-execution, and in some cases, the potential to misuse these funds through contracts to favorable vendors and other means. At the end of it, the constituents remain dis-satisfied and feel the MPLADS money is not well spent, rightly so,” states the letter.

ALSO SEE: Politician Tendulkar in Parliament

Indian cricketer and Member of Parliament Sachin Tendulkar arrives at Parliament in New Delhi on August 5, 2013. India's parliament is due to start the monsoon session with the government under ... more 
Indian cricketer and Member of Parliament Sachin Tendulkar arrives at Parliament in New Delhi on August 5, 2013. India's parliament is due to start the monsoon session with the government under intense pressure to pass key bills ahead of upcoming elections due by next year. AFP PHOTO/ Prakash SINGH (Photo credit should read PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images) less 
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Getty Images | Photo by Staff / AFP/Getty Images
Mon 5 Aug, 2013 12:30 PM IST

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