MP constitutency fund hiked to Rs 5 cr

New Delhi: In a bonanza for lawmakers, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Friday announced that the constituency fund of Members of Parliament will be more than doubled to Rs 5 crore per year from April 1.

As many as 797 Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs will get Rs 5 crore under the Member of Parliament Local Area Development (MPLAD) scheme against the current allocation of Rs 2 crore.

Mukherjee made the announcement while replying to the debate on the General Budget 2011-12.

"Honourable members cutting across party lines have been demanding increase in the allocation under the MPLAD Scheme.

We have considered the matter and I am happy to announce an increase in allocation of Rs 2 crore to Rs 5 crore," he said in the Lok Sabha.

This would result in the additional allocation of Rs 2,370 crore per year, he said, adding that it will be effective from April 1.

He, however, said, "I have to add here that C&AG (Comptroller and Auditor General) Report on implementation of MPLAD Scheme has just been received and will be laid on the table of House shortly. Concerns expressed therein will be addressed while formulating the guidelines for enhanced allocation," he said.

Further, he said, as the states of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Union Territory of Puducherry are heading toward Assembly polls, MPs from these States and UTs will not be able to utilise the enhanced allocation or make commitments against this enhanced allocation till the entire election process is over, he said.

"You can use this money or even make commitment not now, but from end-May," he said.