MLA Local Area Development (LAD) Fund
Why in news: Rajasthan to use MLA fund for vaccination
- As part of the efforts to mobilise financial resources for COVID-19 vaccination of people in the age group of 18 to 44 years, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has approved a proposal to provide 3 crore each from the MLA Local Area Development (LAD) Fund.
- For meeting the expenses, the fund for each legislator has been increased from 2.25 crore to Rs. 5 crore a year.
- The 200 MLAs in the State will contribute a total of 600 crore to the vaccination fund account under the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.
- Gehlot, who had raised the issue of free vaccination with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said the State government would spend Rs. 2,500 crore on the vaccination of those from 18 to 45 years, whose number in the State was estimated at 3.75 crore.
- From the remaining 2 crore in the MLA-LAD Fund, Rs.1 crore will be spent on strengthening the medical infrastructure, purchase of equipment and setting up of model community health centres.
- Besides, Rs. 25 lakh will be utilised for providing food packets and distributing essential items to the poor during the lockdown.
Members of Legislative Assembly Local Area Development (MLA-LAD) Scheme
- It is the States’ version of a central government scheme – Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLAD).
- The objectiveof this scheme is to create local need based infrastructure, to create assets of public utility and to remove regional imbalances in development.
- This scheme isimplemented in rural areas as well as urban areas of a state.
- MLAs do not receive any moneyunder this scheme. The government transfers it directly to the respective local authorities.
- The legislators can only recommend worksin their constituencies based on a set of guidelines.
- Amounts per MLA variesacross the states. Delhi has the highest allocation under MLALAD; each MLA can recommend works for up to Rs. 10 crore each year.
Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLAD):
- It is aCentral Sector Scheme.
- It was announced in December 1993and initially came under the control of the Ministry of Rural Development.
- Later,in October 1994, it was transferred to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
- Each year, MPs receive Rs. 5 crorein two instalments of 2.5 crore each. Funds under MPLAD Scheme are non-lapsable.
- To enable MPs to recommend works of developmental nature with emphasis on the creation of durable community assets based on the locally felt needs to be taken up in their Constituencies.
- Lok Sabha Memberscan recommend works within their constituencies and elected Members of Rajya Sabha can recommend works within the State they are elected from.
- Nominated Membersof both the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha can recommend works anywhere in the country.
- To create durable assets of national priorities drinking water, primary education, public health, sanitation and roads, etc.
- Since June 2016,the MPLAD funds 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.
- The Union Cabinet has given its nod to thetemporary suspension of MPLAD Funds during 2020-21 and 2021-22 in view of the adverse impact of the outbreak of Covid-19 in India.
- It isinconsistent with the spirit of the Constitution as it co-opts legislators into executive functioning.
- The second criticism stems fromallegations of corruption associated with allocation of works.