09 Jun 2024  |   05:24am IST


The Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) was formulated by the Government of India on December 23, 1993. Under this, the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Division is entrusted with the responsibility of implementation of MPLADS. Under the scheme, each MP has the choice to suggest to the District Collector for development works to the tune of Rs 5 crore per annum to be taken up in his/her constituency. The Rajya Sabha Members of Parliament can recommend works in one or more districts in the State from the MP has been elected. With the conclusion of Lok Sabha elections 2024 and the results also declared, JULIO D’SILVA finds out the essence of the MPLADS and the expectations of the voters regarding the areas where the newly elected MPs will utilise their funds and also analyse how the money was spent by the previous South Goa MP, Francisco Sardinha during the tenure of previous Lok Sabha between 2019-2024


The Lok Sabha is composed of representatives of people chosen by direct election on the basis of Universal Adult Suffrage. The Constitution of India allows for a maximum of 550 members in the House, with 530 members representing the States and 20 representing the Union Territories. At present, the Lok Sabha has 543 seats filled by elected representatives. 

The term of the Lok Sabha, unless dissolved, is five years from the date appointed for its first meeting. 

The Rajya Sabha has 250 members - 238 members representing the States and Union Territories, and 12 members nominated by the President. It is a permanent body and is not subject to dissolution. However, one-third of the members retire every second year, and is replaced by newly elected members. Each member is elected for a term of six years.

Government of India has been allocating Rs 5 crore per annum per MP since 2011-12 under the MPLADS to provide infrastructure facilities to uplift the lives of their constituencies. This annual entitlement is released conditionally in two instalments of Rs 2.5 crore each. 

Funds are non-lapsable in nature i.e. in case of non-release of the fund in a particular year it is carried forward to the next year. MPs need to recommend work worth at least 15% and 7.5% of their funds to create assets in areas inhabited by Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) respectively. 

Funds for MPLADS can be converged with Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) for creating more durable assets and with the National Programme for Development of Sports (Khelo India).

Infrastructure development on land belonging to registered societies/ trusts is permissible, provided the society/trust is engaged in social welfare activity and is in existence for three years. No more than Rs 50 lakh for one or more works in the lifetime of the society/trust can be spent. MPLADS funding is not permissible for those societies where the concerned MP and his/ her family members are office-bearers. For societies or charitable homes which look after deprived segments of society, the relaxed grant is Rs 1 crore.

Now that new MPs have been elected from Goa, it is time to revisit the scheme and find out its importance of MPLADS and assess the areas where the funds under MPLADS should be spent by the elected parliamentarians. 

“In my opinion, MPLAD funds can be utilised in creating assets like schools or public utility buildings, recreation and sports parks, public utility vehicles like ambulances or hearse van excluding their maintenance. The funds are to be used for creating long term assets. However computers, smart boards, CCTVs etc is the need and hence funds are sought for these,” former MP, Narendra Sawaikar said.

According to Auda Viegas, former Margao Councillor, MPLAD funds should be utilised for the marginalised sections specially women and the tribal community. South Goa desperately needs premises for One Stop Centre. Besides, abandoned Government Primary School premises could be repaired for women clubs.

“The MP could do well to adopt a tribal village like Morpila for example and use funds for its overall development,” Viegas said.

Dr Jorson Fernandes, resident of Cuncolim, said that a proper ‘need-based assessment’ of infrastructure needs to be done and MPLAD funds should be utilised for projects beyond the ambit of the State government.

“Giving computers to schools is not justified as in abroad students do not use books but are provided a laptops, that are fed with the curriculum,” Fernandes said.

Olencio Simoes, Goenchea Ramponkarancho Ekvott (GRE) General Secretary said that there are multiple works that can be taken up like constructing sports facilities or even supplying sports material. Providing computers to schools is also a good initiative.

Vikas Bhagat, Goa Forward Party’s Environmental Cell Convener, suggested that the funds should be utilised to construct a stage in villages where local art and dance can be exhibited. 

“Besides, a well equipped auditorium needs to be set up in South Goa to create awareness on environmental degradation,” Bhagat said.

Messiah D’Costa, independent Sanguem Municipal Councillor said that funds received through the MPLADS can help in development of rural areas.

“Hinterland areas which actually provide ample scope for utilisation of these funds have unfortunately been ignored. Sanguem for example, badly needs a proper health centre as the present one does not even have a generator. Besides, such a huge area is serviced by only one ambulance. These needs could be fulfilled by MPLAD,” D’Costa said.

Veteran journalist, Sandesh Prabhudesai however questioned the need for MPLADS.

“Why MP should have funds under MPLADS,to woo his voters? That’s not their job. They should work to provide developmental facilities from the Centre like passport office in South Goa etc. They are facilitators of central schemes,” Prabhudesai said.

“Lots of funds to the State from the Centre under various schemes are unutilised.The concerned MP should keep a check on that. In Goa, a real alert MP can today generate employment in thousands in central government departments and undertakings, including nationalised banks. These jobs are grabbed illegally by outsiders because the MP does nothing,” he said.

Former Union minister, Ramakant Khalap said that it is high time that both – the State and the Centre should decide about the carrying capacity of the State.

“This has to be decided, keeping in mind the future generations and given the small land mass of the State. People of Goa should also decide on this issue. Since, some landlords are selling their properties, the State government should devise a mechanism on right of first purchase,” Khalap said.

“I have discussed this issue with South Goa MP-elect, Capt Viriato Fernandes and have told him to accord his priorities while utilising his MPLADS funds. The first thing is that land has to be made available while undertaking projects. The MPLADS funds has to be utilised for constructing toilets and changing rooms on sea beaches for the convenience of tourists,” Khalap said.


Iddhar Udhar