Revised guidelines to digitise fund flow architecture in MPLADS
New Delhi, Mar 26 2023
Developed by State Bank of India, the portal is part of the revised guidelines that aim at facilitating real-time monitoring, increasing transparency and accountability
The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation is soon going to launch the Sakshi portal for digitising the fund flow architecture in Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS).
Developed by State Bank of India, the portal is part of the revised guidelines that aim at facilitating real-time monitoring, increasing transparency, accountability, and scope of permissible works under the central sector scheme.
The portal and guidelines will take effect on April 1.
Parliamentarians will now be given the entire corpus of Rs 5 crore in a single tranche at the beginning of the fiscal year, unlike two tranches of Rs 2.5 crore released every six months, informed a senior government official.
“The portal will have three stakeholders — central nodal authority, district nodal authority, and Members of Parliament. The credited amount will reflect on the portal, along with projects and their clearances by the district nodal authority,” he said.
The move is part of the ministry’s efforts to reduce inefficiency in the present-day system.
The revised guidelines also increase the scope of permissible works under the scheme, to enable representatives to recommend developmental works in line with the changing needs of the community.
The new guidelines empower representatives for the first time to use up to 10 per cent of the funds allocated each year on repair and maintenance of any asset built under any government scheme, to bring greater convergence.
“Parliamentarians will now be able to provide for repair and renovation, provided it is only taken up after a reasonable gap since the original construction or last overhaul,” the official said.
The revised guidelines are based on suggestions received from several stakeholders, including recommendations contained in the 14th Report of the Estimates Committee, which were found feasible and aligned with the objectives of MPLADS.
However, the newly issued guidelines have faced criticism over their dilution of provisions related to the development of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe areas.
“The provision to mandatorily allocate 15 per cent and 7.5 per cent of the annual Rs 5 crore under MPLADS for various development activities in SC/ST regions, respectively, has now been turned into an advisory clause, having serious implications for development works in SC and ST areas,” Rajya Sabha MP John Brittas had said in Parliament a fortnight ago.
The budget for the central sector scheme has more than doubled in the past two years to Rs 3,958 crore, after it was temporarily suspended in April 2020 for 2020-21 and was partially restored in 2021-22, as only a single tranche of Rs 2 crore was released for every constituency.
A Widening Scope
- Rs 5 crore in a single tranche at the beginning of fiscal year
- Nodal district authority empowered to increase scope of permissible works
- Provision to allocate 10% of funds annually on repair and renovation
[The Business Standard]