Opposition blasts Centre for suspending MPLAD

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on April 06, 2020

‘Covid-19 is best fought at the local level; but without MPLADS, resources to address specific needs of an area are lost’

The Opposition parties demanded the Centre not to disrupt the development activities at constituencies-level by stopping MPLADS funding.

The Congress said it supports the salary cut for MPs, but “Please note that the MPLAD is meant to execute developmental works in the constituency. Suspending it is a huge disservice to the constituents and will undermine the role and functions of MP,” Congress’s media in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala said.

‘Economy on a slide’

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the government has been fudging data and had pushed economy steeply downhill even before Covid 19. “Transfer of money to Consolidated Fund of India, instead of being directed towards fighting Covid-19, shows that it is a measure to deal with the economic destruction caused in the last six years. There is enough evidence that Covid-19 is best fought at the State and local level. By suspending MPLADS, Government is taking away expenditure which would have attended to unique requirements of an area,” he said.

‘Against federalism’

He added that such a centralisation of funds goes against federalism, development and will weaken the country’s fight against the pandemic. “This Government has continuously wasted public money on statues, extravagant personal publicity campaigns and events. It neglected healthcare over the past six years. Coupled with its economic mismanagement, this has led us to this massive crisis where the Government is adopting such measures. If there’s no money with the Government, why doesn’t it abandon the Central Vista project in Delhi?” he asked.

The Congress also asked the Centre to pass on the “profits” it made by not reducing the prices of petroleum products to people. “The reality is that petrol today is actually available at ₹28 per litre as far as the international price is concerned. But, it is sold to us at ₹74 per litre. In diesel, the actual figure should be ₹32 per litre, it is sold to us at ₹65 per litre,” said party spokesman and MP Abhishek Singhvi. “Why are you not passing on a fraction of this humongous gains of ₹20 lakh crores. Remember, you have given ₹1.7 lakh crore supposedly in your announcements a few days ago, which is actually, we calculated to be only ₹one lakh crore additional injection for corona,” he said.

Published on April 06, 2020

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