Nearly 70 per cent of the Rs 26.77 crore spent under the Members of Parliament Local Area Development (MPLAD) funds by the seven MPs in Mumbai and Thane region was dedicated to the construction of drainage systems, toilets and roads.
MPLAD is a central scheme, under which MPs can recommend development programmes involving spending of Rs 5 crore every year in their respective constituencies. For the MPLAD scheme, the guidelines focus on the creation of durable community assets, however, historically in Mumbai this money has mostly been spent on drainage work and construction of toilet blocks in view of the state of basic civic infrastructure in the city.
While the seven MPs were eligible to spend a cumulative Rs 35 crore under the MPLAD funds, they have so far managed to utilise Rs 26.77 crore. Shiv Sena MP Rahul Shewale has spent Rs 4.9 crore of his MPLAD fund, the highest among the seven parliamentarians, followed by BJP’s Manoj Kotak at Rs 4.89 crore and Sena’s Arvind Sawant at Rs 4.37 crore. Sena’s Gajanan Kirtikar has spent only Rs 2.31 crore, the least among the seven.
The analysis is part of the first year’s ‘Member of Parliament Promise vs Performance Mumbai-Thane Report 2-19-2020’, prepared by a civil society advocacy group, Mumbai Votes. The report analyses the work of the MPs between June 2019 and March 2020. In terms of attendance during the three sessions of Parliament between June 2019 and March this year, BJP’s Gopal Shetty and Kotak have registered a 100 per cent attendance. Sena MPs Gajanan Kirtikar and Rajan Vichare rank at the bottom with 79 and 80 per cent, respectively.
Sena’s Rahul Shewale stands out with his participation in debates, having taken part in 49 as against the national average of 17. The lowest was that of BJP’s Poonam Mahajan with only five debate participation.
On raising questions in the House, all Mumbai MPs fared way better than the national average of 49 questions. The highest number of questions were asked by Kirtikar at 195, while the least 26 questions were raised by Sena’s Arvind Sawant, who till November 11, 2019, was a Union minister. Cabinet ministers do not raise questions as they represent the government in Parliament.
The report also analyses the deliverance on promises made by the MPs to their voters.
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