Faced with delays in furnishing utilisation certificates for funds provided under the Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) for rehabilitation work in districts affected by natural calamities, the Centre has amended the scheme guidelines relating to natural calamity and calamity of severe nature.
As per the amended guidelines, Lok Sabha members from unaffected areas of the state could also recommend permissible works up to a maximum of `10 lakh per annum in the affected areas and utilisation certificates for the amount would not be required for further release of subsequent instalment of the MPLADS funds.
The funds meant for rehabilitation work would be released by the nodal district of the MP concerned to the district authority of the affected place. The utilisation certificates for such works and funds would be directly provided by the district authority of the affected area to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation for overall reconciliation.
In a circular, the Ministry of Programme Implementation has clarified that in the event of a “calamity of severe nature” in any part of the country, MPs could recommend works up to a maximum of `50 lakh. Whether a calamity is of a severe nature or not would be decided by the Centre. No separate utilisation certificate for the transferred amount is required from the nodal district authority, while processing the release of subsequent instalment of MPLADS funds.
Following the requests from MPs, the ministry also decided to allow MPs from both Houses to allocate `10 lakh per annum, or the consolidated entitled amount of their balance tenure, at any time for assisting the differently-abled as per the MPLADS guidelines.
Earlier, many MPs had approached the ministry for allowing them to use the full entitled amount at any time in the entire tenure without the restrictions of `10 lakh to be spent per year, so that a Rajya Sabha MP could utilise `60 lakh and a Lok Sabha MP `50 lakh at any time during his or her tenure.