The Centre is set to provide more flexibility in implementing the Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) for better utilisation with the Union Cabinet expected to increase the annual fund for MPs from Rs 2 crore to Rs 5 crore.
The ministry of statistics and programme implementation, the nodal agency for monitoring the scheme, has moved a Cabinet note for increase the allocation for each MP as per announcement made in the Union budget for 2011.
The big change the ministry is looking at making the scheme flexible. “There cannot be uniform condition…what is applicable in tribal areas cannot be correct for hill areas. The scheme has to as per the local needs of the states,” MS Gill, minister for statistics and programme implementation said.
The ministry will be seeking views of MPs and the state governments on what sort of flexibility should be provided in the MPLAD guidelines.To improve monitoring of the scheme, the ministry has decided to conduct a study on efficacy of the scheme in 600 districts.
The ministry has also decided to increase the basket of projects that can be undertaken under the MPLADS as per new guidelines notified last week.
It includes a provision of allowing MPs to spend up to R10 lakh every year for the benefit of disabled people and another R10 lakh every year for welfare activities anywhere in the country.
Under the existing guidelines, the MPs are not allowed to spend outside their states areas except in case of disasters and no grant can be given to individuals.
The new guidelines, however, impose a restriction on MPs to sanction only up to R50 lakh annually for societies and trusts for community works.
There was no such limit in the earlier guidelines.
Another restriction imposed is that MPs will have to sanction money for projects costing R1 lakh except in case of hand pumps, solar electric pumps and computers.