New Delhi: Amidst the raging debate in Bihar over the relevance of the Land Area Development Scheme of the elected public representatives, the Central government has hinted at poor track record of utilizing the MPLAD funds by Bihar MPs vis-à-vis other states.

As per the data of expenditure of MPLAD funds, while the average unused fund in other states is about Rs 3.5 crore, it is as high as Rs 4.5 crore in Bihar.

Recently, a team led by Pankaj Jain, Additional Secretary in Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, examined the utilization of funds in Bihar.

The Centre recently raised the MPLAD fund to Rs 5 crore from Rs 2 crore per annum, amidst the towering demand for it by the Parliamentarians.

In the case of Bihar, Rs 251 crore under MPLAD fund could not be utilized for development work. As the state failed to produce Utilisation Certificate, Central government has stopped the release of Rs 190 crore.

The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has given directions to the concerned officials. The state has been suggested to conduct a training workshop for this.

In a bid to ensure better utilisation of MPLAD funds, the Central government has amended the provisions to expand the ambit of the fund. Now, the MPs can allot funds up to Rs 10 lakh outside their respective states. Till now, such allotments were restricted only for projects related to education and culture.

As per the new directive, even private organizations would be able to get ambulances from MPLAD fund after approval from CMO or the District Magistrate.

MPs would be able to donate a maximum of Rs 50 lakh in one fiscal to various trusts within his state.

JPN/Bureau