ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Abuse of Privilege

The MPLAD scheme is constitutionally suspect, morally wrong, politically bad and should be scrapped.

The Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS), which is defective both in concept and execution, has invited criticism ever since its inception in 1993. The scheme was a political gift by an insecure Narasimha Rao government to MPs in return for their loyalty, and was adopted by the states which also wanted to keep the legislators in good humour.

The defects of the scheme are well known and documented but they need to be reiterated now when the United Progressive A lliance government is under pressure to increase the annual a llocation for each MP from Rs 2 crore to Rs 5 crore. This may be done in the Budget session of Parliament, even before the S upreme Court is to take a final decision on the legality of the scheme. In the past, the Court has made critical observations on the scheme. But the problem with MPLADS is not just legal, though the violation of the separation of jurisdiction between Parliament and the Executive is the first problem with the scheme.

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