Ministry seeks PM role for MPLADS fund hike

Encouraged by a representation from at least 108 Parliamentarians,the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation...

Written by Priyadarshi Siddhanta | New Delhi | Published: July 19, 2010 1:04:38 am

Encouraged by a representation from at least 108 Parliamentarians,the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) has sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s intervention for enhancing the annual allocation of the

Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) from Rs 2 crore to Rs 5 crore. The move is meant to neutralize price rise and zero enhancement in the allocation during the past 11 years. The Planning Commission has refused to do so,citing resource constraints.

In a letter to the Prime Minister,MoSPI minister Sriprakash Jaiswal reminded that in reply to a note prepared by his ministry to enhance the allocation under MPLADS,the Planning Commission refused to endorse its view,citing resource constraints. Since a number of ongoing flagship programmes required additional resources,it was not feasible to enhance the annual allocations under the scheme,the Plan panel has said.

Justifying the enhancement in allocations,the minister argued “I would like to submit that in any ongoing scheme,the aspects of price rise-neutralization and incremental enhancement of allocation is taken into account. You may be aware that there has been no enhancement for the last 11 years under the MPLAD Scheme.”

Arguing that the scheme did not need enhanced funding,a top Commission official maintained,“there is no evidence that more money is needed for MPLADS. Our priority is to ascertain which schemes need more money.”

Recalling the Commission’s earlier communication that the proposal could be considered once the Supreme Court gave its judgment on the constitutional validity of the MPLAD Scheme,the MoSPI minister said the apex court in its judgment on May 6 has upheld the constitutional validity of the scheme.

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