Patiala, July 6
Terming it regretful and problematic, Patiala MP Preneet Kaur has demanded that “the Prime Minister should clarify the decision to arbitrarily scrap MPLAD funds meant for the welfare of public, besides asserting that funds must only be used for assisting those hit hardest by Covid”.
In a statement issued here, the Congress MP said the allocations had inbuilt accountability as they were approved by elected representatives and suspending these funds had impacted the pace of community development works. These decisions should have been taken after consultation with all parties, she lamented.
Underlining grave financial impact of the Covid-induced lockdown, Preneet Kaur suggested that the Centre must utilise these funds for constituency-wise development programme which might create job opportunities for those who lost their jobs due to the pandemic.
“This is not only crippling the financial autonomy of states but is also an attack on the federal structure enshrined in our Constitution,” she added.
The Local Area Development Funds Programme was initiated by Congress in 1993. MPs were entitled to recommend works to the tune of Rs1 crore annually between 1994-95 and 1997-98 under MPLAD Scheme after which the annual entitlement was enhanced to Rs2 crore. In 2011-12, the UPA government had raised the annual entitlement to Rs5 crore per MP. — TNS
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