'MPLAD scheme source of corruption, scrap it'
New Delhi, May 14: Rural Development Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh described the MPLAD and LPG distribution schemes for MPs as a major source of corruption and favoured their scrapping.
Dr Singh said that the recent sting operations by TV channels had already brought the rampant corruption in the MPLAD scheme to public light and also led to disqualification of ten MPs.
He said he had been in favour of scrapping of the MPLAD scheme for quite sometime. However, since other leaders were not willing to do so, he remained silent.
Stating that the role of MPs was to monitor and oversee the implementation of various projects and not to distribute the money, he said it has led to a nexus of politicians and contractors willing to take advantage of the scheme.
Admitting that some of the MPs were honestly implementing projects out of the Rs 2 crore per annum given under the MPLAD scheme, Dr Singh said, however, their percentage was very less.
Moreover, even if the MPs were not directly involved in corruption, the workers on whom they relied indulged in corrupt practices on their behalf.
Emphasising the need for transparency and strict monitoring mechanism in the implementation of various projects, Dr Singh urged MPs to make sincere efforts in their own constituencies in this regard.
He said that often the MPs were not aware of the scheme being implemented in their constituencies and then complained that development work was not taking place.
''Even in Parliament, many members force adjournment demanding discussion on a particular issue of urgent importance. But once the government agrees to do it, the presence of MPs during the debate, especially in the afternoon session, is meagre indicating their lack of interest in the matter,'' Dr Singh pointed out.
''This is an open secret,'' he said and asked MPs to take their work as public representatives more sincerely and monitor the various projects in their constituencies. It would not only bring efficiency in the implementation, but also increase their influence in their own constituencies as people would see that the MP was involved in their development, he added.
He emphasised the need for holding regular meetings of the District level Vigilance and Monitoring Committee under the chairmanship of the respective MPs.