Highlight the role played by the MPLAD scheme in creating community assets based on local needs. Also discuss the issues associated with it.
MPLAD is a Central Sector Scheme, announced in 1993, with an objective to enable MPs to recommend works of developmental nature, primarily in their Constituencies.
Role in creating community assets:
- The developmental work emphasize upon creation of durable community assets in field of drinking water, primary education, public health, sanitation and roads, etc.
- It can also be used for implementation of the schemes such as Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan), conservation of water through rain water harvesting and Sansad Aadarsh Gram Yojana, etc.
- 19 lakh projects with 45 thousand crore sanctioned till 2017.
- More than 80% projects have been in rural areas.
- Empowers district attributes with funds to fulfil local needs.
Issues associated with MPLADS:
- There have been implemental lapses in terms of financial mismanagement and instances of artificial inflation of amounts spent.
- There is no statutory backing for this scheme so it is subjected to the whims and fancies of the elected government.
- Issues related to the monitoring and regulation of the scheme. It was launched to promote participatory development but there is no such indicator which can measure level of participation.
- It encroaches upon the domain of local self governing institutions and thereby violates spirit of federalism.
- There is a conflict with Separation of Powers as MPs gets involved in executive functions.
While, MPLAD as a project has been upheld to be in right spirit, it is essential to device a legal framework to ensure transparency, accountability, liability of parliamentarians and other organisations in the utilisation of funds under the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS).
Topics: GS-II: Devolution of Powers and Finances Up to Local Levels • GS-II: Functions and Responsibilities of the Union and the States • GS-II: Major Issues Pertaining to Federal Structure • GS-II: Parliament and State Legislatures in India