Just a week after the hike in allocation of funds for MPLAD scheme, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) slammed the programme in a report tabled in Parliament on Friday.
According to CAG, some members of Parliament have spent funds from their local area development fund for works, not allowed under the scheme. The locals, for whose benefit the scheme was introduced in 1992, are not even part of decision making process, the report said.
It was the third performance review of the MPLAD scheme and CAG found several shortcomings disclosed in two earlier reports, 1998 and 2001, have not been rectified.
The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, which administers the MPLAD scheme, submitted the action taken reports on the CAG recommendations only in 2009.
CAG report comes as a slap on the ministry’s face, which till the recent review in 2010, claimed the scheme was doing well and the expenditure was over 90%, which CAG said was not more than 50% in last five years.
CAG found in over 700 projects, the district administration utilised funds from MPLAD without any authorisation from the MP.
In Shajapur in UP, the district collector allowed road works worth R1.78 crore on recommendation of the personal secretary of MP. In West Garo Hill in Meghalaya, staff rooms for government staff were constructed without any approval from the area MP.
In all, 8,764 instances were identified but its misuse was rampant in Rajasthan and UP.
In a stinging remark on how the scheme is administered, CAG said the people for whose benefit the project is approved are not even consulted for its execution. It could be a probable reason for large-scale delay in completing the projects or abandoning some projects midway.