Context: As a part of Government’s efforts to contain spread of COVID – 19, the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) has issued a circular granting one-time dispensation for utilizing funds under the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS).
HOW IT WILL HELP?
This move is going to facilitate Members of Parliament to recommend funds for purchase of equipments for Government Hospitals / Dispensaries for medical testing and screening of patients and also facilitate in setting up other related facilities in their respective constituencies.
WHAT ARE THE CATEGORIES WHERE MPLADS FUNDS CAN BE UTILIZED?
As per the amendments to MPLADS Guidelines, Members of Parliament can now utilize funds under MPLADS for the following:-
- Infra-Red thermometers (Non-contact) to enable doctors and medical personnel to record and track a person’s temperature.
- Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) Kits to keep the medical personnel well-protected and enable them to function efficiently by minimizing the risk of transmission.
- Thermal imaging scanners or cameras for railway stations, airports and other points of entry which allow detecting of temperature from a safe distance.
- CORONA testing kits approved by M/o Health and Family Welfare
- ICU Ventilator and Isolation/ Quarantine Wards within their approved facilities.
- Face masks, gloves and Sanitizers for medical personnel.
- Any other medical equipment recommended by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for prevention, control and treatment of COVID-19.
ABOUT MPLAD SCHEME
The Local Area Development Scheme known as MPLADS is a government scheme that was launched on 23rd December 1993. This central sector scheme was developed as an initiative to enable the parliament members to recommend developmental work in their constituencies based on locally felt needs. These developmental works mainly focused on the areas of national priorities such as drinking water, education, public health, sanitation, roads, etc. Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) was launched by PM Narendra Modi under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation. This scheme was initially administered by the Ministry of Rural Development.
KEY FEATURES OF MPLADS
Some of the key features of the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) are:
- It is a government-funded scheme where the annual fund provided to each MP constituency is Rs. 5 crores.
- Recommendation by the MPs should be done annually with works costing at least 15 per cent of the MPLADS entitlement for areas inhabited by Scheduled Caste population and 7.5 per cent for areas inhabited by S.T. population.
- A sum of Rs. 75 lakhs is provided for building assets by trusts and societies as per the scheme guidelines to encourage the trusts and societies for the betterment of tribal people.
- Lok Sabha Members can recommend works within their Constituencies and Elected Members of Rajya Sabha can recommend works within the State of Election. Nominated Members of both the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha can recommend works anywhere in the country.
IMPLEMENTATION OF MPLAD SCHEME
- An MP is required to provide his/her choice of the nodal district to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation in a prescribed format. A copy of the same should be given to the State Government and the District Magistrate of the chosen district.
- The Government of India releases an annual entitlement of Rs. 5 crores in two equal instalments. This amount is given to the District Authority of the Nodal District selected by the concerned MP.
- The Implementing Agency should be identified by the District Authority. The Implementing Agency should have the capability to execute the eligible work qualitatively, timely and satisfactorily.
- All the recommended works must be sanctioned within 75 days from the date of receipt of the recommendation after the completion of all formalities. If any work is not sanctioned within the prescribed time period, the District Authority shall, however, may inform the MPs regarding the rejection of the work within 45 days from the date of receipt of recommendations.
- This scheme can also be converted into individual/stand-alone projects under the Central and State Government schemes provided they meet the eligibility conditions of MPLADS.
- Funds from local bodies can be similarly pooled with MPLADS works but the funds provided by other scheme sources should be used first. MPLADS funds should be released later for the successful completion of the project. As soon as a work under the Scheme is completed, it should be put to public use.