MPs may get Rs 3 cr more for development
From the next financial year, a Member of Parliament could get Rs 5 crore, from the present Rs 2 crore, annually for development works in his constituency, reports Chetan Chauhan.delhi Updated: Oct 06, 2008 01:01 IST
From the next financial year, a Member of Parliament could get Rs 5 crore annually for development works in his constituency. The reason for more than two-time hike, from the present Rs 2 crore, is high inflation.
The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, which monitors the Rs 1,590-crore MP Local Area Development (MPLAD) Scheme, has sought the finance ministry’s approval to increase the annual allocation to Rs 5 crore for every Member of Parliament.
The proposal, mooted on the recommendation of a parliamentary standing committee on MPLAD scheme, has been sent to the finance ministry on the directions of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), a senior ministry functionary said. A decision might be taken later this month.
A number of MPs across political spectrum, barring the Left, have written to the PMO, seeking more funds. Spiralling input costs were coming in the way of development works, they have said.
“The price of raw material for constructing a road or building school has increased so much that we can’t carry out more than 30-35 per cent of the development work we used to five to seven years ago,” Prasanna Acharya, who heads the parliamentary panel, told Hindustan Times.
However, Communist Party of India’s Gurudas Dasgupta termed the move as unjustified.
“There is no reason to increase the MPs’ fund. There have been complaints of improper utilization. I don’t understand why the Planning Commission’s money is being given to MPs,” he said.
The Left parties are opposed to the scheme. They say development work is the job of executive and not of the legislative body members. They even demanded that the scheme be scrapped.
But, others favour more money. “There is no reason to suppose that constructive, positive and tangible assets will not be created with the enhanced amount,” said Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi.
The Bharatiya Janta Party was more cautious. A decision would be taken when the matter comes before Parliament, spokesperson Prakash Javdekar said.
Acharya said the scheme gave MPs an opportunity to provide succour to people. “Over 90 per cent utilisation of funds, even better than many central government schemes, shows that MPLAD scheme has worked well,” he said.