48% of “entitled” MPLAD funds in Gujarat remained unutilised between 2019-24, says ADR

About 48 per cent of the total ₹442 crore that were to be spent as MPLAD funds in Gujarat between 2019 and 2024, remained “unutilised”, stated Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR). 

“The Member of Parliament Local Area Development (MPLAD) Scheme was started in December 1993. Between 2019 and 2024, the Covid pandemic had caused the scheme to be frozen for 1.5 years. Each MP was entitled to spend ₹17 crore instead of ₹25 crore in their respective constituencies. Thus the total entitled amount was ₹442 crore for the 26 MPs in Gujarat,” Pankti Jog, the state coordinator for Gujarat told businessline. All the 26 seats in the State belong to the BJP.

“However, the 26 MPs together recommended works worth ₹354 crore, of which ₹269 crore worth of works were sanctioned and ₹220 crore funds were released by the Government of India. This allocated amount of ₹220 crore is just 49.77 per cent of the total entitled amount of the MPs. If MPs do not recommend work, then the government will not allocate more funds. The onus of recommending works within their constituency lies with the MP,” she said. 

The 26 BJP MPs incurred an expenditure of ₹230 crore (including interest) which is about 52 per cent of the entitled amount of ₹442 crore.

Despite just ₹220 crore being released, the MPs failed to spend ₹31 crore which is about 13.5 per cent of the funds released by the government. According to the data shared by ADR, Union home minister Amit Shah’s constituency of Gandhinagar had the highest unspent balance of ₹3.54 crore, followed by Vinod Chavda of Kutch ( ₹2.35 crore of unspent balance), Devusinh Chauhan of Kheda ( ₹2.35 crore) Poonamben Madam of Jamnagar ( ₹2.19 crore) and Bharattsinji Dabhi of Patan ( ₹2.01 crore).

“Each MP could have easily used ₹17 crore during these five years. However, they have spent less than this amount,” Jog said. Of the total sanctioned works in Gujarat, the highest –₹114.81 crore – has been spent on railways, roads, pathways and bridges. And ₹71.32 crore on “other public facilities.”

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