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MPs can now spend up to Rs.10 lakh from their Member of Parliament Local Area Development (MPLAD) fund to assist physically disabled people, the ministry of statistics and programme implementation said Friday.

The Indian government recently decided to increase the annual entitlement of MPLAD funds of MPs from Rs.2 crore to Rs.5 crore, the ministry said in a statement here.

‘This necessitates a re-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 at the grass-root level in time every year,’ it said.

The government has received requests that MPs should be allowed to spend a portion of the MPLAD fund in assisting physically challenged people, it added.

‘Although the current MPLAD guideline prohibits assistance to individuals, it has been decided that this condition be relaxed in favour of physically challenged people and henceforth directed that MPs will be allowed to spend a maximum of Rs.10 lakh per year from their MPLAD funds to assist the physically challenged,’ the statement said.

‘In order to ensure that the fund is properly spent, it has been decided that such assistance be given only for the purchase of tri-cycles and artificial limbs for differently-abled people. Directions have been issued that all applications for such assistance be examined and approved by the chief medical officer (CMO) of the district,’ it added.

This will come into effect June 1, 2011.

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