New Delhi: Raising questions on the lack of freedom to utilize funds allocated under Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLAD), more than 100 parliamentarians complained about the limitations in guidelines for the fund usage.

Criticizing the Centre for imposing restrictions in the usage of MPLAD funds, more than 100 MPs including Mulayam Singh Yadav, PL Punia, Vijat Bahudar Singh and Supriya Sule have questioned its provisions.

According to them, the restrictions are an indication of distrust and therefore, the government should only keep a tab on it and allow them to work.

Earlier this year, following the continuous demand of MPs to increase the MPLAD fund, the Centre not only increased the amount to five crores to expedite development work in the constituency of respective MP but also expanded the spectrum of the fund usage. Some new guidelines were also framed.

In this regard, the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has also forwarded new MPLAD guidelines to MPs on June 14, 2011.

Irked over the new rules, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MP Vijay Bahadur Singh along with 115 members also lodged their formal protest to the concerned Minister Shrikant Jain objecting to the limitation in fund usage.

In their letter, MPs mentioned that the development works through MPLAD fund are different from the state and Centre run projects/schemes. Recalling the provisions under the Constitution that describes the rights of MPs, the parliamentarians have demanded relaxation in the set guidelines.

JPN/Bureau