New Delhi: In order to avoid duplication of work and expedite decision-making under the MPLAD scheme, the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI) has suggested setting of a single parliamentary committee on the subject, comprising members of both Houses.
In a letter to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, Minister of Statistics and Programme Implementation Sriprakash Jaiswal has stated that the two separate committees at present -- comprising members of the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha, respectively -- should be merged to form a joint committee under the MPLAD scheme.
At present, the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha committees on the Members of Parliament Local Area Development (MPLAD) scheme hold separate meetings and give vastly different suggestions with regard to utilisation of the funds.
"This (the existence of two committees) leads to two sets of meetings with the officers of MOSPI on various issues, which often leads to variance in decision-making, duplication (of work) and delays," Jaiswal said.
Moreover, he added, the delay and duplication of work could be avoided "if a joint committee on the MPLAD scheme, consisting of Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha members, make deliberations together."
The scheme was started on December 23, 1993, to provide a mechanism for parliamentarians to recommend works of a development nature to create durable community assets in various constituencies.
The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation is the nodal agency responsible for policy formulation, the release of funds and monitoring implementation of the scheme.
Under the scheme, every sitting MP gets Rs 2 crore per annum for developmental works in his or her constituency. The ministry has proposed to increase this amount to Rs 5 crore in view of the price rise over the years, but the proposal has not found favour so far.
The Planning Commission has on many occasions showed its reluctance to increase the quantum of funds given to Members of Parliament under the scheme.