The Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) was introduced in 1993 by the then Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao. Under the scheme, each MP can suggest to the District Collector, works to the tune of Rs. 5 crore per annum, which can be taken up in his/her constituency. Initially, the amount allocated to each MP was Rs. 5 lakh per year, which has now been increased to Rs. 5 crore per year.
Initially, the scheme which was under the control of the Ministry of Rural Development is now under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation. As per the Ministry guidelines, “The objective of the scheme is to enable MPs to recommend works of developmental nature, with emphasis on the creation of durable community assets based on the locally felt needs, to be taken up in their constituencies. Right from inception of the Scheme, durable assets of national priorities viz. drinking water, primary education, public health, sanitation and roads, etc. are being created.”
The scheme and its constitutionality were challenged before the Supreme Court and the petitioners argued for scrapping of the MPLAD Scheme. The main contentions before the Supreme Court were that the scheme violated the concept of separation of powers, as MPs become the members of the Executive, and the misuse of the funds allocated under the Scheme.