Members of Parliament can spend a maximum of Rs10 lakh per year from their MPLAD funds for giving assistance to the physically challenged persons.
The decision follows the recent hike in the annual entitlement of MPLAD funds of MPs, from Rs2 crore to Rs5 crore.
Announcing this, minister of statistics and programme implementation M S Gill said the government is keen to take a pro-active stand, to ensure timely and fruitful utilisation of MPLAD funds, as also widen the basket of eligible items, so that MPs have a larger choice of projects to channel their MPLAD fund.
He said the government is taking a fresh look at the entire gamut of operational guidelines and modalities governing the implementation of the MPLAD scheme, in order to make them simpler, more user friendly, and to ensure that MPs can use the annual fund, in a useful manner.
He said the government has received representations, requesting that MPs be allowed to spend some MPLAD funds, in assisting physically challenged people.
The issue, he said, has been considered at length, and it was felt that it would be appropriate to allow members of Parliament, as public representatives, to spend some of their MPLAD funds, in assisting the physically handicapped.
The relaxation is solely in favour of physically challenged persons, keeping in view the larger public good, the minister added.
The government has issued directions that all applications for such assistance will be examined and approved by the chief medical officer (CMO) of the district, to ensure proper eligibility of the physically challenged.