MPLADS: is the root of all problems!

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By Bibhuti Pati

If Modi Govt. is unable to plug it then it is doubtful how true BJP’s remove corruption free slogan is???

The extent to which Member of Parliaments (MPs) local area development funds widely known as MP fund has pullulated the Indian polity and administrations, know other body has. It has killed the glory of these two institutions. Whatever claims two create a model village were cited, by MPs funds claim two its utility proved a mere eye wash and were total failure. Recently it is news that two monitor the development activities undertaken in the name of this MPs fund will be monitored by a geographical information system. It is also exploring the ways to uses this money effectively.  Here it would be necessary if they take a look at the ‘Administrative Welfare/Reforms committee’ to scrape it all together. This committee would be headed by Veerapa Moily eleven years ago. Even the then Prime Minister A B Vajpayee also thought of scraping it but stopped short of doing so. In fact after a while it was raised from 1 Crore to 2 Crore per annum. At the time when this sum was being raised, Manmohan Singh was the leader of opposition spoke in the Rajya Sabha. If things were allowed to carry on this way people will soon lose their trust if the leaders and this democracy. It is another matter though when Manmohan Singh became the Prime Minister of India he raised this sum from 2 Crore to 5 Crore.

Some parliamentarians have suggested if this sum is raised to 50 Crores then the MPs model village programme can be successfully implemented so far Modi Govt has not approved of this suggestions but they have not being successful in getting a third party audit this amount. How this fund is being misused can be seen from a recent incident in Bihar. On his supervisory trip to his constituency an elected MP found very substandard material being used for constructions. On his enquiry from the engineer, the same engineer replied minimum thirty per cent commission is being taken by the office and the funds left after that can only lead to this substandard construction work.  Definitely some MPs are misusing these funds for some other purposes. One Rajya Sabha MP gave away his entire funds to a university. A minister in A B Vajpayee Govt. donated the entire funds to IIT Kanpur but today’s parliamentarians are not so generous. A few years ago a Rajya Sabha MP’s membership was cancelled because the charges of bungling the funds were proved. Actually the MPs funds are decided and monitored both by a junior Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer. Barring a few exceptions the per cent money (PC) is also decided by this junior IAS’s office. So in fact very early in his carrier he gets addicted to bribery. In many situations it is the MP who forces the junior IAS officer to do so. Though there is an exception to this practice, there are very few in number. So in this manner in this fund becomes elementary school bribery for these IAS officers. On the other hand contractor who takes the responsibilities of working under the provisions of this MPs fund becomes a political worker for MPs. Whenever this happens this funds becomes a pollutes the polity and the administrations.

A very established political leader once confirmed that some workers also become contractors for this MPs fund. Earlier these workers approach the political leaders for welfare and social assistance but gradually they are professional interest also creped. So an MP who takes a cut from his own MP’s fund, can he be relied upon check corruption in other Govt’s Department? If this curse is not brought under control and if Modi Govt. does not make any serious effort to check it then their very promise to weed out corruption from this country will remain a mere promise. In fact the very inception of this fund was flawed. In 1993, in the very inception year of this fund, Ram Jeth Malani accused the then Prime Minister P V Narsimha Rao    of taking 1 Crore rupees from the broker Harshad Meheta. After a while the provision to use this fund started at a fast pace. The voice of dissent given by  Nirmal Kant Mukharjee the then MP (CPI.M), of this interioum report presented amdist the Joint parliamentary Committee (JPC) in the house on 2nd Dec. 1993 at 3.43 PM. And the then Govt within two hours, at 5.50 PM announced an MP fund of Rs. 1 Crore acceptable. When all this was taking place the then Finance Minister Manmohan Singh was on a foreign trip. He was much against of this MP fund, he later on commented had he been on the scene this fund would never have been accepted. Many courts and CAG report have criticized this MP fund from time to time.

After losing election in Bihar, Lalu Prashad Yadav held the MP fund responsible for their loss. Actually it was the political power gained by contractors proved fatal for the ministers owing the rivalry among these contractors. The large part of this fund gets divided between some government officials, contractors and middle man which is the root cause of this tough of war. To stop this practice of giving a cut to many corrupt elements is now beyond the power of MP and even the Govt. therefore majority of the leaders do not even want to stop this practice and therefore the quality of administration and politics have deteriorated. If Modi Govt. is unable to plug it then it is doubtful how true BJP’s remove corruption free slogan is. If the Modi’s Govt decide to get a serious social audit of the short comings of these funds the result will be shocking and startling.

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