In an unprecedented move, the Union Cabinet has passed an ordinance that suspends the MPLADs (Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme) funds for two years. The MPLADs fund has been suspended till 2022, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Monday.The minister said that Rs 7,900 crore from the MPLADS scheme will go to Consolidated Fund of India, the main bank account of the government. The Consolidated Fund of India is the term used for the total revenue collected by the government through taxes and expenses incurred in the form of borrowings and loans.
The move is seen as a part of government's efforts to address the challenges in the fight against COVID-19. The fund will be used for purchase of equipments for government hospitals and dispensaries, medical testing and screening of patients and also setting up other related facilities.
As per the amendments to MPLADS guidelines, MPs can now utilise funds under MPLADS for the following:
- Infra-Red thermometers (Non-contact) to enable doctors and medical personnel to record and track a person's temperature.
- Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) Kits to keep the medical personnel well-protected and enable them to function efficiently by minimising the risk of transmission.
- Thermal imaging scanners or cameras for railway stations, airports and other points of entry which allow detecting of temperature from a safe distance.
- CORONA testing kits approved by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
- ICU Ventilator and Isolation/ Quarantine Wards within their approved facilities.
- Face masks, gloves and sanitisers for medical personnel.
- Any other medical equipment recommended by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for prevention, control and treatment of COVID-19.
By Chitranjan Kumar