After suspending the MP Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) to use the funds in the fight against Coivid-19 last year —a move criticised by the Opposition — the Cabinet Wednesday decided to restore it. However, of the Rs 5 crore that each MP gets under the scheme, only Rs 2 crore will be disbursed in the current financial year. They will get the entire funds from the next financial year.
“I am glad to share with you that in view of the improvement in economic scenario, the way economic recovery has taken place and we have seen growth in various sectors as well, a decision has been taken to restore MPLAD Scheme for the remainder period of the fiscal 2021-22,” I&B Minister Anurag Thakur said at a Cabinet briefing. The decision comes weeks ahead of the Winter Session of the Parliament.
Restoration and continuation of MPLADS up to 2025-26 will cost the government Rs 17,417 crore, the Centre said.
Under the scheme, funded by the Centre, MPs get Rs 5 crore in two instalments a year, which can be used for development work such as creation of community assets in the areas of drinking water, primary education, public health, sanitation and roads, in their respective constituencies.
Suspension of the scheme last year had evoked sharp reactions from the Opposition. While the Congress said the decision would undermine the role of an MP, the TMC termed the step “whimsical” and “undemocratic”
Central govt okays Rs 17,400 cr to CCI for cotton procurement
The government Wednesday approved ‘committed price support’ of Rs 17,408.85 crore for Cotton Corporation of India, the agency responsible for procuring cotton from farmers if prices fall below the MSP, for seven cotton seasons from 2014-15. It also made it mandatory for 100 per cent of foodgrains and 20 per cent of sugar to be packed in jute bags. The decisions were taken at the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs meet headed by PM Narendra Modi.
— With PTI inputs