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NEW DELHI: The Union government is not considering any proposal to restore Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) funds for FY21 and FY22, Rao Inderjit Singh, Minister of Statistics and Programme Implementation, said in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

"There are no proposals under consideration of the government for restoration of MPLADS funds for financial years 2020-21 and 2021-22 and to increase the MPLADS allocation from Rs5 crore to Rs10 crore," the minister told the House in a reply to a question.

Singh said the government is aware that there has been an emergent need to help people in this pandemic. “Accordingly, the Cabinet in its meeting held on 6th April, 2020 decided not to operate MPLADS for the Financial Years 2020-21 and 2021-22; and place the MPLADS funds for these two-years at the disposal of Ministry of Finance to meet the emergent needs of people. The funds saved from the MPLAD Scheme have been utilised to enhance the allocation of funds for improving health infrastructure, provide free ration under PM Garib Kalyan Yojana, and free vaccination for the people."

On requests made by Members of Parliament, however, the government has released Rs1,107.5 crore against pending instalments of FY20 and previous years in FY21 to clear the committed liabilities and help the people during the covid-19 pandemic. “The Government has also decided to release all pending instalments of 2019-20 in respect of Members of Parliament of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha during 2021-22, subject to the fulfilment of eligibility criteria and submission of eligible documents by district Authorities, as per the MPLADS guidelines," the minister added.

MPLAD is governed by a set of guidelines, which are revised from time to time based on the needs of the community with emphasis on creation of durable assets.

“During the covid-19 pandemic, the government allowed purchase of testing, screening and other facilities including installation of Oxygen plants in Government hospitals and dispensaries under MPLADS, by relaxing the guidelines. The extant MPLADS guidelines was last issued by the Ministry in June 2016," Singh said.


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