50% funds allotted for ongoing MPLADS projects lapse
Part of: Prelims and GS -II- Welfare Schemes
In news Virtually half of the belated Rs. 2,200 crore allotted for completing the ongoing MPLADS projects in 2020-21 simply lapsed as the Finance Ministry granted only a week to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) to release the funds.
- The resultant funding crunch would have hit several local area development projects under implementation across the country,
- Spending under the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) had already halved before the government suspended the scheme for two years in April 2020 and diverted the funds for managing the COVID-19 pandemic.
- From Rs. 5,012 crore spent during 2018-19, in 2019-29 expenditure of just Rs. 2,491.45 crore was taken up.
- After the scheme’s suspension, several MPs and parliamentary committees, including the Standing Committee on Finance (SCF), had asked the government to release MPLADS funds which were due from previous years for projects that were already sanctioned.
- On March 16 2021, an SCF report pointed out that many MPLADS projects that began earlier were left unfinished midway due to the suspension. of the scheme.
- The panel had sought the release of funds for these projects so that MPs could fulfil their promises to the public.
- Now, the FInance Ministry has given only a week’s time to MoSPI to release these funds. It is, thus, feared that major funds would lapse due to time constraint.
What is MPLADS (Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme) Scheme or Sansad Nidhi Yojana?
- It is a central sector scheme for MPs to recommend works of developmental nature in their constituencies
- It was launched in December, 1993
- The emphasis is on creating durable community assets based on locally felt needs.
- Parent Body: Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI)
- The funds – Rs. 5 crore/annum/MP – under the scheme are non-lapsable.
- Funds are released in the form of grants in-aid directly to the district authorities.
- MPs have only recommendatory role and the district authority is empowered to examine the eligibility of works, select the implementing agencies and monitor it.
News Source: TH