Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday said the Centre's decision to suspend the MPLAD fund for two years was "detrimental" and it should be allowed to be used for fighting the Covid-19 in respective constituencies of the Members of Parliament.
Pointing out that the Local Self Governments (LSG)s were playing a major role in fighting the pandemic and there was a requirement of funds at the local level, Vijayan said refusing the MPLAD fund at this stage was against the country's federal structure.
"This decision needs to be reconsidered. MPLAD fund should be allowed to be used for fighting the pandemic in respective constituencies. The Centre must give a direction accordingly", Vijayan told reporters here after a Covid-19 review meeting.
Various MP's including Thiruvananthapuram MP had come out against the decision on MPLAD fund, saying it should be revised and MPs should be allowed to earmark these funds for Covid-19 related expenditure to meet local needs and benefit the vulnerable.
The chief minister said while he appreciated the government's decision to cut the salaries of prime minister, ministers and the MPs to raise funds to deal with the pandemic, suspension of the MPLAD fund for two years would be "detrimental" to the development of local areas.
There are allegations that even in the backdrop of Covid-19 the financial aid given to various states were "imbalanced and discriminatory."
As far as Kerala was concerned the fund was insufficient, Vijayan said.
"In these circumstances, it was important that we use the MPLAD fund for fighting the pandemic. Certain MPs have already started utilising the funds for the state and their constituencies. But as of now, all such funds are not possible to use".
Noting that the MPLAD funds were meant for the people of the respective constituencies, he said it was not right to subsume them to the Central pool.
Be it a natural disaster or a pandemic, effective interference can be made in the local level.
In Kerala, the local self government institutions have played a major role in the disaster management works after the floods and rehabilitation, he said....