Allow MPLAD funds to be used in State’s dedicated Covid-19 fund, Bihar urges Centre

Shishir Sinha | | Updated on: Apr 05, 2020

Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Sushil Kumar Modi | Photo Credit: Ranjeet Kumar

Experts feel this model could be replicated at State level also to strengthen coronavirus war chest

Bihar has urged the Centre to permit money from Members of Parliament Local Area Development to be deposited in a special fund set up by the State government to tackle Covid-19 pandemic irrespective of the constituency.

Experts feel this model could be replicated across all States and two Union Territories (with State Assemblies) as this will provide additional funds to fight the virus.

As on date, there are a total of 542 members of Lok Sabha and 245 members of Rajya Sabha. If ₹2 crore or ₹3 crore for each MP is given to the fund, a sum of ₹1,574 crore to ₹2,361 crore will be available. Similarly, if ₹50 lakh is deducted from each of the 3,973 MLAs and 426 MLCs, an additional ₹2,200 crore will be available.

“We have deducted ₹50 lakh from Local Area Development fund of each of the Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) and Member of Legislative Council) and transferred it the dedicated fund,” Sushil Kumar Modi, Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister of Bihar, told BusinessLine . The State has 243 MLAs and 75 MLCs and, thus, it managed to raise ₹159 crore to be deposited in the Corona Eradication Fund (CEF). The funds will be utilised for buying medicines, masks, kits, and other equipment

Modi informed that the Chief Minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar, has appealed to the Prime Minister to modify the MPLAD scheme, so that a part it can be deposited in the dedicated fund. “This will enable State Government to spend for the State as a whole according to the requirement to fight Covid-19,” he said. A formal request letter in this regard will be sent to the Union Government.

Funds through MLALAD/MLCLAD and MPLAD are used by the representative for constituency-specific development activities. Quantum of fund varies from State to State. For example, Bihar provides ₹3 crore to its lawmakers while Delhi provides ₹4 crore. Many of the States provide ₹2 crore. While MLA’s LAD fund can be spent in his/her constituency, MLC can recommend for any part of the State.

Under MPLADS, each MP has the choice to suggest to the District Collector for works to the tune of ₹.5 crore per annum to be taken up in his/her constituency. The Rajya Sabha Members can recommend works in one or more districts in the State from where he/she has been elected. The nominated members of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha may select any one or more districts from any one State for the implementation of their choice of work under the scheme.

Published on April 05, 2020
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