New Changes to MPLADS Will Make it More Centralised and Less Inclusive - John Brittas
In a country like India where inequality is so prominent, a development scheme can come a cropper if it lacks inclusivity.
The Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) was launched in 1993 to enable parliamentarians to directly contribute towards meeting the development demands of their constituency or state. Despite many deficiencies plaguing the scheme, it stood out mainly on account of the principles of social justice and its outreach to areas which were away from the conventional footprints of planned development.
Like any other scheme, it has undergone many significant changes since then – for better or for worse. One such change enacted recently can definitely be said to belong in the latter category. As per a fresh modification made to the extant guidelines by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), which will come into effect on April 1 this year, the clause for mandatory allocation of 15% and 7.5% funds for Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) populated areas respectively has been watered down.
Through the revisions of 2014 and 2016, during the first term of the Narendra Modi government, the enabling nature of the provision had remained. But now the guidelines state that “it shall be advisable” for MPs to set aside a designated proportion of their Rs 5 crore a year entitlement for projects in areas predominantly inhabited by backward classes
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John Brittas, The Wire.in, 13 March, 2023, https://thewire.in/government/new-changes-to-mplads-will-make-it-more-centralised-and-less-inclusive