Rhetoric and Reality of MPLADS
Since December 1993, Members of Parliament have been allotted funds annually to pursue developmental works in their constituencies – in 2004, the figure stood at Rs. 2 crore under MPLADS (Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme). The MPLADS study was conceptualised to look into the following aspects of the scheme – budgetary provisions as regards the scheme, guidelines of selection and its processes, benefits / drawbacks of public expenditure by this method, benefits accrued to the common people with specific focus on the marginalised sections of the society, role of elected representatives in implementation of the scheme, effectiveness of the scheme in eradicating poverty and creating durable assets, mechanism and pattern of expenditure, role of bureaucracy and people’s perception of the scheme. A few sample constituencies in the States of Rajasthan, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Gujarat were chosen for the study.