Centre rules out going Bihar way in scrapping MPLAD scheme

Centre ruled out scrapping of MPLAD scheme on the lines of Bihar govt`s decision to do away with a similar scheme for legislators, saying the scheme for parliamentarians is less vulnerable to misuse.

New Delhi: The Centre Monday ruled out
scrapping of MPLAD scheme on the lines of Bihar government`s
decision to do away with a similar scheme for legislators,
saying the scheme for parliamentarians is less vulnerable to
misuse.

"MPLAD scheme is running. There is no proposal under
consideration to scrap it," Statistics and Programme
Implementation Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal told reporters on
the sidelines of consultations between the Centre and state
representatives on MPLAD.

He sought to distinguish between the scheme of local area
development for MPs and similar schemes for legislators in the
states, saying the Centre norms are not laxed, unlike some of
the states.

"You should clearly distinguish between legislator funds
and MP funds. Every state has its own guidelines and unless
you assess the lacunae in them, you would not be able to know
which schemes have to be improved. There is no laxity in MPLAD
scheme," he added.

As such, the Bihar Government might have thought that
its schemes have so many lacunae and if attempts are being
made to tighten them, legislators might react adversely, he
said.

"As such, better option is to scrap the scheme," Jaiswal
said in reference to the Bihar government decision.

Earlier this month, the Nitish Kumar government had
decided to scrap the existing allocation of funds for Local
Area Development (LAD) scheme for legislators in an attempt to
get rid of corruption.

Citing examples of Uttar Pradesh from where he was elected
to Parliament, Jaiswal said the funds meant for local area
development were allocated to building of statues.

However, the guidelines framed by the Centre is so tight
that its misuse is very difficult.

"I don`t claim that MPLAD scheme is not misused at all.
But it is very difficult to misuse it. You cannot build
statues from MPLAD scheme," Jaiswal said.

MPLAD scheme is formulated by the Centre to enable members
of Parliament to get works done to the tune of Rs 2 crore in a
year in their constituencies.

The minister said there is no proposal under
consideration to increase the amount to Rs 5 crore under MPLAD
scheme.

To a query over the change in the guidelines for MPLAD
scheme following delimitation, Additional Secretary in the
ministry Pankaj Jain said whereever there is no substantial
change in constituencies, successor MP will be able to get the
work done from the fund.

Whereever there is substantial change, all the funds will
be pooled in a state and distributed to MPs from there.=

"We have to complete accounting by December 31 to
distribute the funds. It means that we have next 10 days for
redistribution to present MPs," he added.

PTI

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