March 14, 2011

Rs 2300 crore public money for closing eye to corruption?

It’s difficult to find a sound reason in the government raising the MPLAD funds from Rs. 2 crore to Rs. 5 crore. As is reported in the press, the government chose to ignore the objections / negative comments from Planning Commission, CAG and NAC.

Though legally valid and theoretically sound, this scheme of MP Local Area Development fund is said to have become another fountainhead of corruption. Ironically, this act of the government, itself stung by corruption charges, is appeasement of parliamentarians. One is tempted to feel that it is being done so that vocal votaries of MPLAD scheme, some of whom happen to raise banner against government in corruption cases, do not raise too much noise.

If media reports are to be believed, MPLAD funds have sometimes been diverted to non-allowed purposes, even for clubs and schools run by relatives. There are reports even of some to be taking their ‘cut’ from the contracts given out of their funds.

Recently the Bihar government has decided to do away with MLA fund because of poor utilization of funds and its misuse. The centre should have taken a leaf out of this sensible move, but chose to pamper MPs with over Rs 2300 crore of public money.

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