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Q. What is the MPLADS Fund? Suggest ways by which Centre can allocate the fund judiciously to states to fight with COVID- 19 epidemic? 


Ans.- Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme was formulated by the Govt. of India on 23 Dec. 1993 to carry out the local area development projects by the MPs in their respective state of election or their constituencies. The nominated members of both the houses of the Parliament can select one or two districts anywhere in the country and also MPs can recommend projects up to Rs.25 lakh. to any district outside their constituency or state of election. The scheme was primarily put under the administration of Ministry of Rural Development but a year later, in Oct. 1994, it was put under the Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation. Since 2011-12, all MPs are allocated Rs 5 crore each annually and the amount is non-lapsable.
Since there is a financial challenge for the govt. to combat the COVID-19 epidemic in the country, many MPs have voluntarily decided to use their MPLAD funds, in this direction, which encouraged the Centre. to suspend the two-year allocation of MPLAD fund. The total amount would be Rs. 7900 crore which would be an immense help for the govt. but the question arises whether the amount will be allocated judiciously? Few suggestions have been made in this regard-
 1. The govt. can only suspend the scheme for one year rather than two years and thereby can suspend it according to future needs.
2.The govt. can seek reports from all the states for the need of funds according to the cases and needs in their respective districts. The report can be furnished by the district authority, and then to be given to the State govt. and then to the Central govt. and accordingly, the funds should be transferred to the respective districts only.
3. To avoid the political interference the reports furnished can be made publicly available.

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