Economy
Parliamentary panel expresses concerns over poor use of MPLAD funds

The Parliamentary committee noted that Bihar, Gujarat, West Bengal and Sikkim have not taken prompt steps to utilise MPLAD funds for dealing with the impact of natural calamities

 
New Delhi: A Parliamentary committee has expressed concerns over poor utilisation of Member of Parliament Local Area Development (MPLAD) scheme funds by states like Gujarat and Bihar in undertaking rehabilitation works and providing relief to people affected by severe natural calamities, reports PTI.
 
The Committee of Members of Parliament on MPLAD Scheme in its report, which was tabled in Lok Sabha today, noted that Bihar, Gujarat, West Bengal and Sikkim have not taken prompt steps to utilise MPLAD funds for dealing with the impact of natural calamities.
 
Under the MPLAD Scheme, started in December, 1993, each member of both the houses gets Rs 5 crore every year for taking developmental works in their respective constituencies. They can also transfer the funds for undertaking rehabilitation works in the area affected by severe natural calamities.
 
Referring to the rehabilitation work in the aftermath of Gujarat earthquake, the committee noted that the state government "has not submitted proposals of the works to be undertaken out of the unspent balance of Rs9.42 crore lying with it despite several reminders by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation."
 
The report further said, "It is sad that a portion of MPLAD funds consented by MPs with the sole aim of rehabilitation of the areas affected by the earthquake is still remain unutilised by the state government."
 
The panel also raised similar concerns in case of utilisation of MPLAD funds for rehabilitation works in areas affected by Kosi floods in Bihar, Aila cyclone in West Bengal, cloud bursts in Leh and earthquake in Sikkim.
 
It also suggested that MPs should be permitted to transfer funds upto Rs1 crore for dealing with calamities of serious nature anywhere in the country as against the current ceiling of Rs50 lakh.
 

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Maharashtra justifies amendment to RTI Act in HC in response to PIL

In an affidavit, the state government said its amendment to restrict RTI application 150 words was not issued to curtail freedom of express or to cause unwarranted harassment to citizens seeking information

 

Mumbai: The Maharashtra Government has contended before the Bombay High Court that a recent amendment in the Right to Information (RTI) Act, which restricts the contents of RTI application to 150 words and one subject only, had been introduced to streamline the procedure and did not in any way infringe on the fundamental rights of citizens, reports PTI.

 

The impugned amendment was not issued to curtail freedom of express or to cause unwarranted harassment to citizens seeking information as the petition has alleged, Joint Secretary, General Administration Department Rashid Gafoor Sayyed, said in an affidavit.

 

The affidavit was filed in response to a petition filed by Shivaji Kshirsagar who challenged the amendment in RTI Act through a notification on 16th January, which imposed restriction over the words and subject of the application.

 

The amendment said if the applicant desired to seek information on more than one subject he should make separate applications for each subject.

 

Taking the affidavit on record, a bench headed by Justice DD Sinha asked the petitioner to file a rejoinder by 7th September.

 

The petitioner prayed for setting aside the amendment, saying it provides weapons to the public information officers to reject the application.

 

According to the petition, the impugned notification is against the objectives of the RTI act, principle of natural justice and violates fundamental rights. It is inconsistent with the parent act, unconstitutional and against the law.

 

The government affirmed in affidavit that it had been observed that mostly applications filed under RTI Act suffered from unwarranted complications. Instead of seeking information on one topic, most of these applications sought information pertaining to various departments and divisions of the State.

 

In such cases, the public information officer is unable to collect information from various departments in 30 days.

 

Therefore, it was thought fit to ensure that information on a particular subject should be sought from that concerned department instead of clubbing it together with a related topic, the affidavit said.

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COMMENTS

VIKAS SIVARAMAN

4 years ago

Moneylife is doing a stunningly good job at dispersing unbiased information and enabling the average Indian access to finance related information. Most of all by underlining the pitfalls in the morass of financial products.
Well done! We appreciate your efforts way more than you will ever know! Thank you!

Insurance cover also applicable to deposits in co-op banks
The government has suggested DICGC and the RBI to adopt to risk-based deposit insurance premium structure. This will be prior to the DICGC proposal for increasing insurance coverage limit from Rs1 lakh to Rs2 lakh being approved

New Delhi: The deposit insurance coverage is also applicable to all eligible deposits in co-operative banks, Finance Minister P Chidambaram informed Rajya Sabah, reports PTI.
 
According to the existing norms of Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), a maximum of Rs1 lakh is paid to a depositor in case a bank goes insolvent.
 
"In terms of the provisions of the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation Act, the deposit insurance coverage is also applicable to the eligible deposits held in all eligible co-operative banks," Chidambaram said in a written reply.
 
He said the government has suggested DICGC and the RBI to adopt to risk-based deposit insurance premium structure. This will be prior to the DICGC proposal for increasing insurance coverage limit from Rs1 lakh to Rs2 lakh being approved.
 
"DICGC has sent a proposal to increase the deposit insurance coverage limit from the existing Rs1 lakh to Rs2 lakh for approval of the government.
 
"The proposal was examined and to rationalise the deposit insurance premium structure, the government has suggested to the DICGC and the RBI to adopt to Risk-Based Deposit Insurance Premium Structure, before the proposal of the DICGC is considered for approval," Chidambaram said.

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COMMENTS

deepaksb

4 years ago

Insurance cover of Rs.2 Lacs is NOT sufficient.

How long back Rs.1 Lac limit was fixed?

What about inflation for all these years ?

Even present insurance cover has lot of strings attached-Limit of insurance applicable to all accounts if a person has multiple joint accounts in same bank with immediate family members.

People who had experienced collapse of banks like South India Co-Op.bank,Globel Trust bank are aware of value of Bank Deposit Insurance.

Insurance cover must be increased to Rs.5 lacs and it should be per account and not per bank/branch.
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