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MPs not ready for social audit of MPLADS

New Delhi: Members of Parliament seeking social audit of all and sundry programmes are not willing for such a monitoring when it comes to the MPLAD Scheme, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh said today.

"Whenever there is criticism of MGNREGA in Parliament, I say if the same social audit was there for MPLADS then it would be good for the country. But they (MPs) are not ready for social audit of MPLADS," Ramesh said at a function of civil society organisations on Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.

"The social audit has brought about transparency, and even Anna Hazare agrees to it," he said after releasing a report `MGNREGA opportunities, challenges and the road ahead`.

Under the Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS), each MP can suggest to the district collector for works to the tune of Rs 5 crore per annum to be taken up in his/her constituency.

While the Rajya Sabha MP can recommend works in one or more districts in the state from where he/she has been elected, the Nominated Members of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha can select any one or more districts from any one state in the country for implementation of their choice of work under the scheme.

Observing that in Parliament, every third question is on MGNREGA, Ramesh said, "MPs want that all the works are conducted with their consent….Their intention is different."

Downplaying the media reports on the scams related to the MGNREGA and MPs` allegations that the muster rolls are bogus and money is not spent properly, he said, the UPA government`s programme "has given a new hope to people and self respect to the poor downtrodden people".

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