Dimapur, Jan 5 (PTI) The Opposition Naga People’s Front (NPP) Saturday questioned the ruling Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP)-led PDA government as to why it is delaying the release of Rs 185.09 crore grant-in-aid to the Rural Development Department despite being cleared by the state finance department.

The People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) government was formed in March 2018 and the finance department had released Rs 185.09 crore to the Rural Development Department the same month, the Leader of Opposition T R Zeliang said at a press meet here.

The fund was supposed to be given to the village development boards (VDBs) under the Rural Development Department, Zeliang, the former chief minister of the state, said.

Zeliang claimed that the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India had sanctioned an amount of Rs 185.09 crore as additional grant for the state on November 8, 2017 when he was the chief minister.

As per guidelines, a high-level committee under the chairmanship of the chief secretary was constituted by the Governor of Nagaland on December 13, 2017, he said, adding, the committee, as per sanction, had approved a sum of Rs 96 crore as grant-in-aid for the state for the years 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2018-19.

However, due to the model code of conduct which came into being following the announcement of the state Assembly elections on January 18, 2018, the fund could not be released by the previous government, he added.

TR Zeliang, the former chief minister of the state, also alleged that the present PDA government is violating the guidelines.

The government has failed to allocate the funds as finalized by the committee, he said, adding, the governor should take cognizance of the irregularity and ask why the decision of the committee, constituted by the governor, was overlooked.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.