Friday, April 22, 2011

My thoughts on direct funding of BADP to ADCs

The Ministry of Home Affairs has reportedly made a decision to transfer the funds of Border Area Development Programme (BADP), a central government scheme, directly to the three Autonomous District Councils in Mizoram, namely Chakma, Mara and Lai from this financial year. So far, all Central funds are routed to the ADCs through the state government resulting in a lot of problems like funds are not released on time, ADCs are provided inadequate funds and the state government implements various schemes directly without involving the ADCs. These are only some of the grievances the ADCs have aired in the past. They have even alleged discrimination by Aizawl controlled by the majority Mizos.

Considering the problem in this perspective, I think direct funding is a good policy decision. Recently, the CAG report on BADP in Mizoram found serious financial irregularities and termed the BADP a “failure” in Mizoram. The CAG report said the ADCs were not given any role in execution of the programme. Further, the CAG report has correctly pointed out the “inherent deficiency in planning and implementation of the programme”. Even before the CAG report came, this was well known to every Chakma leader in Mizoram whose ears and eyes are open. I think other community leaders along the Mizoram-Myanmar border too are well aware.

However, the fact remains that even the ADCs do not have good track record in matters of financial management or utilization of the public money. I must admit that I have no idea about MADC or LADC. But as for CADC, certainly nothing exudes any inspiration. No scheme is properly implemented. Corruption rules the root. The entire system is corrupt. The CBI is currently investigating multi-crore corruption in India-Bangladesh Border Fencing in CADC. I hear that the ACB is also investigating some forestry related scam. The picture in this article shows a signboard of Damdep I-Dursora (CADC) road constructed under BADP for Rs 15 lakh. But the signboard curiously does not mention the length of the road, for it is only 2 km! 2 km of kaccha road, Rs 15 lakh - clearly, it stinks of corruption!

This photo I took during my visit to CADC recently. During my visit to several border villages, I found no semblance of development there. I only found heart rending conditions of the people living along the India-Bangladesh borders, including within the CADC.  

The major flaws of BADP in Mizoram are as follows:

1.      No village-wise baseline surveys are prepared. This would have brought out the problems faced by each border villages which could have been easily solved.
2.      The District Plans remain unknown to the public and the leaders themselves
3.      The village councils are not involved in decision making, planning and implementation
4.      Total lack of accountability and transparency – there is no separate website for BADP either
5.      Most funds are spent on construction/repair of office buildings, residential accommodations and rest houses etc and the sectors like social development, education, health and agriculture are not given due importance. Therefore, there is no improvement in the living standards of the border people
6.      The fact that the border people are most backward in terms of access to basic amenities is not recognized by the state of Mizoram
7.      Border people along Mizoram-Bangladesh are mostly minority Chakmas. In the implementation of projects, villages closest to the international borders are not given first importance
8.      Discrimination against minorities like Chakma, Mara and Lais

Direct funding is all right but the golden question is- Can the Autonomous District Councils in Mizoram do wonders by uplifting the conditions of the people living along the international borders with the flow of BADP funds directly to their purse? Having been aware of the situation in CADC I am not much confident that they can do wonders. So, at present, I am hopeless but I would be happy if proved wrong in near future. But I am happy for one thing - that now I and many others like me can get the opportunity to blame our own leaders (be they Chakma, Mara or Lai) instead of blaming Mizo leaders always for the failure in BADP, and hold them (ADCs leadership) accountable for the miserable situation of people in the border areas in CADC, LADC and MADC.


hiramonichakma said...

Let's wait and see. So far I concerned about,Direct Funding may help the Chakmas indeed. But the problems of the poor will be the same.
The CADC should make an endeavour to fill up all the Vaccancy Posts and to create more Department to root out the Unemployment.

chakma bonse ashish said...

According to me direct funding achievements is a big deal if we can use the amount in a proper allocation or in a proper manner then only benefit us other wise as same as usual. It is a great pride for the achievment of dirct funding from centre means CADC gets a good financial support from centre for the development rural i do want to appeal our mizoramian chakmas to alert regarding the use of funds. As my concern jobs opportunities are there cause back log to be filled up.

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Paritosh Chakma said...

@Hira and Ashish, thanks for your thoughts on this issue. Both of you are right. Definitely the direct funding is a major achievement, may be right now only for BADP. The ADCs can use the BADP funds to development the condition of the border population. So, the ball is really in the court of the three District Councils.

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