New Delhi: Bihar government’s decision to spend the Member of Parliament Local Area Development (MPLAD) funds through tender has set several tongues wagging in the state political corridors. However, as over three-fourth parliamentarians of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha from Bihar belong to the NDA, none of the public representatives could muster the courage to challenge any decision of the state government.

The Bihar government strongly believes that the MLA-MP fund is the root cause of corruption. Keeping the fact in mind, the state government has stopped the Rs 1 crore fund allotted to the legislator for the development work in his/her respective constituency. It has been replaced by Chief Minister Area Development Scheme

The legislators only have the permission to approve a project from their constituencies. Even though the MLAs were not too pleased with the change, but none could raise voice against Nitish Kumar or his Cabinet.

On similar lines, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has devised a new guideline for spending of MPLAD funds after getting nod from Union Minister of State for Statistics and Programme Implementation (Independent Charge) Srikant Jena on November 10.

MPLAD is Centrally-sponsored scheme. State cannot make any change in the format. But the implementation of MPLAD lies with the state government. Therefore, Bihar government has altered the spending format of schemes.

Earlier, the MP was empowered to select the agency for carrying out development schemes. As per the new provision, MP will only name the schemes for the constituency. The MPLAD fund will be spent through tender process. The District Planning Officer will be the nodal officer instead of DM.

The proposed move of the state government has received a mixed response from the parliamentarians. While majority of them are annoyed as they claim that the projects were expedited as per the need and requirement of their constituencies, few have supported the move as they opine the process will save them from unwarranted political pressures. 

JPN/Bureau