Revive MPLAD scheme in its true spirit and release funds, Om Birla urged

The amounts are “only way” by which MPs can truly help constituents in the hour of grief and extreme need, says Cong. leader.

May 27, 2021 05:27 pm | Updated 05:27 pm IST - New Delhi

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, leader of Congress party in Lok Sabha. File

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, leader of Congress party in Lok Sabha. File

Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Thursday wrote to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla to restart the Member of Parliament Local Area Development (MPLAD) scheme and make MPLAD funds available to MPs.

Mr. Chowdhury said it is critical to have access to MPLAD funds because of the second wave of COVID-19 and the devastation caused by the cyclonic storm Yaas that made its landfall in Odisha and impacted neighbouring Bengal.

The MP from Bengal said the funds are the “only way” by which “the Members of Parliament can truly come to the aid of their constituents in their hour of grief and extreme need”.

“While the second wave of the pandemic has brought unimaginable miseries, the people of Odisha and West Bengal are on the verge of facing the devastating affects of Yaas. The critical impact the cyclonic storm would have on the intensity of the pandemic in West Bengal and Odisha in particular remains to be seen in the coming days. There is a distinct possibility of a significant increase in the COVID-19 infection rate in the region in the coming days,” Mr. Chowdhury wrote.

“This obviously calls for urgently gearing up the availability of critical health care equipment including PPE kits, oxygen cylinders, ventilators etc., apart from smaller items such as gloves, masks and oximeters. Considering the criticality of the situation, I would beseech upon you to take appropriate steps in having the blocked MPLADS Funds released and the scheme made operational again in its true spirit.”

He said the funds should be made available without any restrictions so that the “amounts are rightly channelled to address the health care needs of the people in these uncertain and extremely sad times”.

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