What is the MPLADS (important for Prelims as well) – The Members of Parliament Local Area Development Division is entrusted with the responsibility of implementation of Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS). Under the scheme, each MP has the choice to suggest to the District Collector for works to the tune of Rs.5 Crores per annum to be taken up in his/her constituency. The Rajya Sabha Members of Parliament can recommend works in one or more districts in the State from where he/she has been elected. The Nominated Members of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha may select any one or more Districts from any one State in the Country for implementation of their choice of work under the scheme.
- Issues – As per a CAG report –
- Under-utilisation of funds – ₹1,757 crore had been released for MPLADs, only ₹281 crore had been utilised by all the 543 MPs till May 15, 2015.
- No strict mechanism of accountability.
- Delays in issuing work orders ranging from 5 to 387 days in 57% of the works against the requirement of issuing the work order within 45 days of the receipt of recommendation by the MP.
- Extensions of time granted to contractors without following the correct procedure.
- Register of ‘assets created’, as required under the scheme, not maintained, therefore location and existence of assets could not be verified.
- There are wide variations in the utilization of the MPLAD amount in various constituencies.
Practice Question – Critically analyse the performance of the MPLAD scheme and underlying issues with respect to the scheme. – 150 words.