Our Bureau

Hyderabad, July 15

THE Andhra Pradesh Government has urged the Centre to allocate additional quantity of rice for effective implementation of Member of Parliament Local Area Development (MPLAD) Scheme in the State.

Addressing the MPs meeting convened by the Union Minister of State for Statistics and Programme Implementation, Mr Oscar Fernandes, the State Chief Minister, Dr Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, favoured allocation of additional Rs 1 crore worth rice as demanded by MPs to the present amount of Rs 2 crore being given to every MP, suggesting this be implemented throughout the country.

The Chief Minister said that even before the MPLADS programme was started by the Centre , it was the State Government which initiated this programme when Mr N.Janardhana Reddy was the Chief Minister. The Union Minister, Mr Jaipal Reddy, spent all the money under the scheme for fixing up extra transformers in his constituency so that the low voltage problem was addressed, the Chief Minister said. The Chief Minister also referred to the innovative works carried out by the Rajahmundry MP, Mr Undavalli Arun Kumar, by spending all the money allotted to him under the scheme for public toilets.

However, the Chief Minister said that no work should be allocated to the aided institutions or private managements, as they have responsibility to improve their own infrastructure. Referring to the MLAs Constituency Development Scheme in the State, the Chief Minister said that the scheme was discontinued by the earlier Government. This year the Government restarted the scheme by allocating Rs 50 lakhs for MLA.

Earlier, several MPs requested enhancing the existing funds from Rs 2 crore to Rs 3 crore under MPLADS. Some suggested flexibility in using the funds for new initiatives.

Earlier, the Finance Minister, Mr K. Rosaiah, said that a good number of development works were taken up by the MPs for improving the living standards of those belonging to disadvantaged sections of the society. The MPs have taken up 77,774 works in their constituencies costing Rs 961 crore, with which a large number of useful assets have been created.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated July 16, 2005)
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