Members of Parliament/ MLA Local Area Development Scheme: India
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The Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLAD) was launched by the Government of India on 23rd December, 1993, to enable Members of Parliament to recommend works of developmental nature with emphasis on the creation of durable community assets based on the locally felt needs to be taken up in their Constituencies/States. Initially the MPLADS was under the control of the Ministry of Rural Development. The subject relating to the MPLADS was transferred to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme implementation in October, 1994. The Scheme is governed by a set of Guidelines, which have been comprehensively revised from time to time. The present Guidelines were issued in November, 2005. Some of the salient features of the scheme are enumerated below:-
l The MPLADS is a Plan Scheme fully funded by the Government of India, under which funds are released in the form of Grants-in-Aid, as special Central Assistance to States.
l In 1993-94, when the Scheme was launched, an amount of Rs. 5 lakh per MP was allotted which was enhanced to Rs. 1 crore per annum from 1994-95 per MP constituency. This was further increased to Rs. 2 crore from 1998-99. It is released in two equal instalments of Rs. 1 crore each by the Government of India directly to the District Authorities for execution of the eligible works recommended by the MPs by following the established procedure of the concerned State Government. Now it has been proposed to increase from Rs. 2 crore to Rs. 5 Crore from 2011-12.
l The funds released under the scheme are non lapsable i.e. the funds not released in a particular year will be carried forward for making releases in the subsequent years subject to eligibility.
l Examining the eligibility, sanctioning, funding, selection of implementing agencies, prioritization and overall execution, monitoring of the scheme at the ground level, is done by the District Authorities.
l The Lok Sabha Members can recommend works in their respective constituencies. The elected members of Rajya Sabha can recommend works anywhere in the State from which they are elected. Nominated Members of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha can recommend works for implementation anywhere in the country.
l Right from the inception of the Scheme, works for creation of durable assets of national priorities viz., drinking water, primary education, public health, sanitation and roads, etc have been given priority.
l MPs can also recommend community infrastructure and public utility building works for registered Societies/Trusts subject up to a ceiling of Rs. 25 lakh. The Basic Economic Data 149 ownership of the land may remain with the Society/ Trust, but the structure constructed with MPLADS funds shall be the property of State/UT Government.
l Special attention is given for infrastructural development of areas inhabited by Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes population by earmarking 15% and 7.5% respectively of MPLADS funds for those areas and if there is no tribal population inthe constituency of the Lok Sabha members of Parliament, they can recommend works within their state of election upto 7.5% of their annual entitlement in the notified CD blocks with more than 50% tribal population.
l Also to encourage Trusts/Societies to work for the betterment of the tribal people, the ceiling of Rs. 25 lakh has been increased to 37.50 lakhs where the additional amount of Rs.12.50 Lakh should be used for the creation of public utility building assets primarily for the benefit of tribal people exclusively in the notified tribal CD blocks with more than 50% tribal population.
l In order to undertake rehabilitation works in the areas affected by calamities in a State, Lok Sabha MPs from the non-affected areas of that State can recommend permissible works to the tune of up to Rs. 10 lakh per annum in those areas. In the event of calamity of severe nature in any part of the country, an MP can recommend works up to a maximum of Rs. 50 lakh for the affected district.
l MPs can promote education and culture of a State/UT wherefrom they are elected at a place outside that State/UT by selecting works relating to education and cultural development not prohibited under the Guidelines on MPLADS up to a maximum of Rs. 10 lakh in a financial year.
l At the time of the constitution of Lok Sabha, and election of a Rajya Sabha Member, the first instalment of Rs. 1 crore will be released to the District Authorities.
l To bring in more financial accountability, furnishing the Utilization Certificate for the previous financial year and the Audit certificate for the funds released for the MP concerned in the year prior to the previous year are also prerequisites for release of the second instalment. The first instalment of the fund will be released in the beginning of the financial year, subject to the condition that second instalment of the previous year was release for the MP concerned.
l The normal financial and audit procedures prevalent in the states in which the works are executed apply with regard to the implementation of the works. l An effective mechanism of monitoring of implementation of MPLADS is most essential, for efficacious implementation of the Scheme. Ministry has, therefore, envisaged direct physical monitoring of MPLADS works on sample basis in selected districts, through an independent agency viz. NABARD Consultancy Services (NABCONS) launched from 2007-08. This initiative was envisaged as an important instrument for monitoring and a source of feedback on the status of implementation at the ground level so that corrective action may be taken. So far, 133 districts of the country have been covered in first three phases such as 30 districts in 2007-08, 43 districts in 2008-09 and 60 districts in 2009-
10. The concerned District authorities have been asked to take corrective measures on the basis of the report, In fourth phase during 2010-11, monitoring of 75 districts have been taken.
Impact of the Scheme
Since its inception, the Scheme has immediately benefited the local community by meeting their various developmental needs such as drinking water facility, education, electricity, health and family welfare, irrigation, non-conventional energy, community centres, public libraries, bus stands/stops, roads, pathways and bridges, sports, etc.
Scheme Performance (as on 31.05. 2011)
l Rs.22624.92 crore has been released, since the inception of the Scheme.
l As per the reports received from the Districts, an expenditure of Rs.20679.59 crore has been incurred. The percentage utilization over release is 91.4.
l Approximately 12.37 lakh works have been sanctioned and 11.33 lakh works have been completed, as on 31.05.2011, since the inception of the scheme. The percentage of works completed to sanctioned ones is 91.59.
l The progressive status of funds released by Government of India and expenditure incurred by District Authorities has been given in Table 6.15.
Doubts on effectiveness of accountability mechanism: SC
SC upholds validity of MPLAD scheme
Dhananjay Mahapatra | TNN
New Delhi: Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the constitutional validity of MPs Local Area Development (MPLAD) scheme, and by extension, the MLALAD scheme under which Rs 3,000 crore is put annually at the discretion of elected representatives for development work in their constituencies.
However, a five-judge Constitution bench, comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices R V Raveendran, D K Jain, P Sathasivam and J M Panchal, expressed doubts about the effectiveness of accountability mechanism for the schemes under which each MP gets to recommend development works worth Rs 2 crore in his constituency.
The amounts earmarked by different states for the corresponding scheme for MLAs varies.
Significantly, the verdict did not cause terrible excitement among MPs. This was only partly because MPs were confident that the scheme would clear legal scrutiny. The subdued response also had to do with a reappraisal of the benefits of the scheme because of the pressure MPs face from their powerful constituents to distribute the work among particular contractors. MPs feel that the scheme has been hit by corruption with contractors and officials in nexus with politicians, and brings more infamy than praise.
MPs feel it would be much better if they were allowed to have a say in locating projects under official schemes for health centres and schools. SC said that “efforts must be made to make the accountability regime more robust”, but clarified that the existing loopholes in the current form of accountability regime inbuilt in the schemes were sufficient to pass the test and nullify the allegation of corruption in the allocation of money.
“Barring few irregularities, which are taken care of by the state audit authorities, the funds allocated under the MPLAD scheme are being properly monitored for better utilization to achieve the objectives of the scheme,” it said.
The 82-page judgment authored by Justice Sathasivam also effectively negated the demand for scrapping the schemes that gained currency after then Speaker Somnath Chatterjee had in 2005 said that they were devised to “sabotage the emergence of panchayats, which were autonomous of the weight-throwing MPs and MLAs”.
The demand for scrapping of the MPLAD and MLALAD schemes was also recommended in 2009 by the Administrative Reforms Commission, then headed by M Veerappa Moily, which had said the schemes “seriously erode the notion of separation of powers, as the legislator directly becomes executive” in the use of the funds.
Expenditure by MPs/ MLAs
15th LS (2009-14): many MPs did not spend
15th LS MPs failed to use local area funds
Dipak.Dash@timesgroup.com New Delhi
During the 15th Lok Sabha, MPs could not utilize about one-fourth of their funds under the MP Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS), according to the government’s own admission.
Two dozen MPs, including three from Delhi, could not even spend 50% of the allocation, indicating how poorly the people’s representatives fared. Some with dismal records like BJP’s Kirti Azad, Shatrughan Sinha and tourism minister Shripad Naik got re-elected.
While West Bengal did a better job, with six of its MPs in the last Lok Sabha spending more than the entitlement of Rs 19 crore per constituency during this period, Delhi MPs had the worst record with Sandeep Diskshit and Ramesh Kumar managing to spend less than Rs 5 crore and former women and child development minister Krishna Tirath spending only Rs 8.16 crore.
MPs from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh had better records. Former minister Dayanidhi Maran ranked last, utilizing just 20% of the entitlement.
In a written reply in Lok Sabha, minister of state for statistics and programme implementation Rao Inderjit Singh said that under MPLADS, lawmakers recommend development works for creation of durable community assets on the basis of local needs.
The guidelines prescribe that all recommended works should be sanctioned by the district authorities within 75 days of receipt of the recommendation, and the MPs should be informed regarding rejections, if any, within 45 days with reasons. The deadline for completion of the works should generally not exceed one year.
It seems many MPs are unaware of how the allocation can be utilized.
I have started identifying areas and works to ensure that the amount is entirely spent,” said East Delhi MP Mahesh Girri, a first-time MP. Sources said first-time BJP MPs have been asked to utilize the funds and there will be strict monitoring during the current term of the House.
Centre Likely To Change Funding Pattern Due To Project Delays
The Centre is planning to change the pattern of MPLADS funding, from two instalments to one every year, following delay in completion of projects and release of funds by the respective district administrations.
Data released by the Union ministry of statistics and programme implementation shows that since 2014, when the 16th Lok Sabha was constituted, only 35 out of the 543 elected LS constituencies utilised the entire amount of Rs 25 crore with projects completed under MPLADS (Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme).
None of the LS constituencies in the southern states has utilised the entire allocation. West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, and Haryana are the only states where one or more constituencies utilised the entire allocation. West Bengal has the maximum — 10 constituencies — in which Rs 25 crore each has been released after the MPs showed utilisation certificates for their schemes.
D V Sadananda Gowda, Union minister of statistics and programme implementation, said in reply to a question raised on December 19 in the LS that the ministry releases Rs 5 crore each year to every constituency in two equal instalments.
“There have been delays in submission of utilisation certificates by district authorities due to various reasons. This has been in discussion in several meetings related with the MPLAD scheme,” Gowda said.
A proposal to release the full amount — Rs 5 crore per year — in one instalment is under consideration. It would be decided after consultation with the Union finance ministry, Gowda said.
Former Union minister and Paattali Makkal Katchi MP from Tamil Nadu, Anbumani Ramadoss, said it is not possible to complete a project and get the utilisation certificate within a year.
“In the last four years, I was not able to implement any of the projects due to the adamant attitude of a collector in my constituency. I had to represent personally as well as through my personal assistant to receive clearance for the projects on several occasions,” Ramadoss said.
Another LS MP from an opposition party said, “I don’t find any difference between two instalments and one instalment. Being an election year, the government wants to showcase that the entire money under the scheme has been disbursed before the completion of five years. Therefore, they want to release this year’s fund in one instalment before the end of this financial year.”
Also, if it is an urban area, getting land for a project is a major problem and due to this, instalments may not be released.
The website of MPLADS shows MPs from almost all states prefer to recommend allocation of funds for railway projects, followed by other public facilities.
MPs from Uttar Pradesh have tried their best to pave the way for a second term, spending at least 78% of the local area development (MPLAD) funds to build roads, bridges and pathways. The spend, as of March 2019, is the highest in the country, shows data under the ‘priority sector’ head.
Of 4,224 sanctioned “priority projects” worth over Rs 277 crore in UP, more than Rs 217 crore went to infrastructure projects. In comparison, MPs from Madhya Pradesh spent 33% of their funds on road construction, while those from Maharashtra spent 44% and Rajasthan 30%.
MPs get Rs 5 crore annually under MPLAD to carry out development work and create community assets and have a recommendatory role.
Among other heads, 32 projects worth Rs 1.7 crore were related to sanitation and public health in UP. MPLAD guidelines were revised on June 2016 to allow spending on construction of toilets. MP and Maharashtra spent Rs 2.5 crore and Rs 5 crore respectively, on toilets.
The 80 MPs from UP spent Rs 9 crore on drinking water projects, Rs 6.5 crore on education and Rs 4 crore on the power network under MPLAD scheme. The ruling BJP is giving a push to rural electrification under the Centre’s flagship schemes like Saubhagya and Deen Dayal Upadhayay Rural Electrification.
However, though 60% of state’s economy rests on agriculture, MPLAD spend on agriculture and irrigation was less than Rs 90 lakh.
MLALAD (MLA Local Area Development Scheme), region-wise
2018: Delhi MLAs get 2x MPLAD
In a major decision, the Delhi cabinet on Tuesday approved the proposal of increasing the MLA local area development (MLALAD) funds from the current Rs 4 crore to Rs 10 crore annually. The fund was last revised by the Sheila Dikshit government in 2011-12 when it was increased from Rs 2 crore to Rs 4 crore.
The AAP government had proposed to increase MLALADs to Rs 14 crore for the financial year 2016-17, but it was rejected by the Centre.
Sources said the Supreme Court order of July 4, which gave clarity on the executive powers of the elected government, paved way for the decision. Interestingly, members of Parliament get a discretionary fund of only Rs 5 crore every year under the MPLAD fund even though they have 10 assemblies in their parliamentary constituencies.
“It is a big example of decentralisation of funds and functioning of the government. MLAs have more idea about the projects in their respective assembly segments that require more funds in comparison to ministers and officers,” deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said.
Sisodia announced the cabinet decision in Delhi assembly amid loud thumping of tables and cheers from AAP legislators. In a statement issued after the cabinet meeting, the government said the condition of civic infrastructure in most residential colonies was in a bad shape and required immediate augmentation and overhaul.
“The limit of Rs 4 crore for MLALAD was fixed in 2011-12 and has remained the same despite the budget outlay of Delhi increasing from Rs 27,000 crore in 2011-12 to over Rs 50,000 crore in the current financial year. The failure of the local bodies and DDA in maintenance and upkeep of civic amenities and infrastructure is a well-known fact, which could be tackled to some extent by increasing the quantum of funds and scope of work in the MLALAD scheme,” the statement said.
The deputy CM said guidelines and procedures will be issued from time-to-time by the urban development department for fresh works to be undertaken under the MLALAD scheme.
Leader of opposition in Delhi assembly, Vijender Gupta, however, termed the decision as political and questioned the logic behind revising the funds in the middle of the financial year.
“The funds have been increased mid-year to hide the incompetence and non-performance of the AAP government. If the government was so serious about the issue, it would have made a provision for it while presenting the budget for 2018-19. The decision has been taken keeping in mind the Lok Sabha elections, which are less than a year away,” Gupta said.
While AAP legislators lauded the development, they complained in the House that the urban development department was taking over six months in releasing money for works being undertaken under MLALAD scheme. “We hope that once the court settles the services matter and the elected government gets control, the urban development department officials will start releasing money within 3-4 days,” Greater Kailash MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj said.