ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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An Extraneous Scheme?

It is time that the existence of the Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme is reviewed.

The ever-controversial and completely unjustified Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) is back in the news. The Lok Sabha Standing Committee on MPLADS has asked that the allocation to each MP be raised from the current Rs 2 crore to Rs 5 crore. This demand has been made on a number of occasions over the past three years; the Planning Commission has fortunately advised against meeting this demand.

Two related arguments were given by MPs for the scheme when MPLADS was launched in 1993. One, since certain areas, especially those represented by the Opposition, remained backward, they, as the people’s representatives, must receive funds to develop their constituencies. Two, since regional planning was often ignored, they should be able to recommend projects in their areas. From Rs 5 lakh per MP in 1993, the amount has climbed to Rs 2 crore. But the scheme has always attracted criticism – outside Parliament though – and has faced a steady stream of demands over the years that it be scrapped completely.

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