With drought declared in 161 of the nation’s 626 districts, the UPA government has decided to allow Members of Parliament (MPs) to utilise their local area funds to dig bore-wells and provide drinking water facilities.
Every MP is allocated Rs 2 crore (Rs 20 million) for utilisation in their constituencies every year.
India has 795 MPs — 545 in the Lok Sabha and 250 in the Rajya Sabha. Every year,
Rs 1,590 crore (Rs 15.9 billion) is allocated under the scheme.
On Wednesday, the government also announced extra allocation of foodgrains for children under the Integrated Child Development Scheme.
“Due to environment degradation, the water table has been going down. The Members of Parliament Local Area Development scheme can provide succour to people, particularly for drinking water supply,” said Sriprakash Jaiswal, Minister of State for Statistics and Programme Implementation, the ministry that formulates guidelines for the MPLAD scheme.
The ministry has also decided that MPs will be allowed to utilise funds for re-digging of old bore-wells.