Allocation under MPLAD scheme doubled to Rs 10 crore
The decision to raise the MP local area development fund to Rs 10 crore would be announced during the recess in the Budget Session.
According to sources, the Finance Ministry would also issue fresh guidelines on expenditure of fund within a stipulated time as it has been noticed that MPs keep sitting on the funds and ‘use’ most of it as election dates draw near. “Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is likely to discuss the issue with senior Cabinet colleagues and after getting the nod for it, the matter would be tabled in the union Cabinet,” a senior official said.
“Given that there is going to be a steep rise in the cost of infrastructure development works, the area welfare fund for MPs would also be increased in that proportion. Though, MPs had demanded increasing the fund to Rs 25 crore, it has not been considered,” a senior official in the government said.
Commenting on the issue, BJP MP Chintamani Malviya confirmed to Millennium Post that government is considering the proposal of MPs for hike in local area development fund. “An MLA in a state gets Rs 2 crore every year to carry out development works in his/her constituency while an MP gets just Rs 5 crore under MPLAD every year for development works in six or seven assembly constituencies under his/her Lok Sabha seat,” said Malviya, who is also Member of the Consultative Committee, Ministry of Finance and Corporate Affairs.
Elaborating further, he said, “In comparison to MPs, MLAs have more funds to spend on development works in their areas, which is not fair. We face people’s ire as we parliamentarians don’t have much to offer. In a Lok Sabha constituency there are about 8-10 assembly constituencies and their total fund goes up to Rs 16-20 crore in a year, which is three-four times what we are allotted under MPLAD.”