New Delhi: Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Friday announced a Rs 3 crore increase in the MPLAD (Member of Parliament’s Local Area Fund) fund, the financial support provided for the Lok sabha and Rajya Sabha members - 545+250 respectively, for the local development of their constituencies.
The fund which is currenty Rs 2 crore has been enhanced to Rs 5 crore and the additional allocation for this will be approximately Rs 2,370 crore.
“Honourable members cutting across party lines have been demanding increase in the allocation under the MPLAD Scheme. We have considered the matter and I am happy to announce an increase in allocation of Rs 2 crore to Rs 5 crore,” he said in the Lok Sabha.
Mukherjee who was replying to a debate on the Union Budget in the Lok Sabha, also announced that capital investment in health care and education sectors will be treated as sub sector of infrastructure and will qualify for the government’s financial support through a mechanism called viability gap funding.
He, however, said, “I have to add here that C&AG (Comptroller and Auditor General) Report on implementation of MPLAD Scheme has just been received and will be laid on the table of House shortly. Concerns expressed therein will be addressed while formulating the guidelines for enhanced allocation,” he said.
Further, he said, as the states of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Union Territory of Puducherry are heading toward Assembly polls, MPs from these States and UTs will not be able to utilise the enhanced allocation or make commitments against this enhanced allocation till the entire election process is over, he said.
“You can use this money or even make commitment not now, but from end-May,” he said.
PTI also contributed to this story