Hon’ble Minister for Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu released thirteen Advanced Life Support Ambulances under Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) Funds at Vijayawada yesterday i.e., 25th May, 2017. Shri N. Chandrababu Naidu, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh; Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu, Hon’ble Union Minister, Shri Amit Shah, President, Bhartiya Janata Party formally flagged off the Ambulances.
The Advanced Life Support Ambulances are equipped with all the required Medical Equipments and facilities to attend the Medical emergencies and rush the needy to hospitals. Trained Para Medical staff will be available with the ambulances round the clock. These ambulances will be run under “108” services of the Government of Andhra Pradesh.
Interacting with the media after the launch of ambulances, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu stated that these ambulances are meant to reach out to the people in medical emergencies and added that he has undertaken this initiative under his Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) funding to serve the noble cause of saving lives.
A brief on MPLADS:
MPLADS is a scheme formulated by Government of India on 23 December 1993 that provides that each member of parliament of India has the choice to suggest to the Head of the District works to the tune of ₹5 crore (US$780,000) per year, to be taken up in his/her constituency. Initially, this scheme was administered by Ministry of Rural Development. Later, in October 1994, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI) has been looking into its working. Elected Members of Rajya Sabha representing the whole of the State as they do, may select works for implementation in one or more district(s) as they may choose. Nominated Members of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha may also select works for implementation in one or more districts, anywhere in the country. The allocation per MP per year stands increased to ₹2 crore (US$310,000) from the year 1998-1999 which has been further enhanced to ₹5 crore (US$780,000) from the year 2011. It also allows MPs to spend up to ₹10 lakh (US$16,000) in any other constituency in India.
Some new guidelines for MPLADS were announced by MOSPI :-
- Projects implemented by government agencies would now be provided 75 per cent of the project cost as the first installment, while those implemented by non-governmental agencies would be provided 60 per cent.
- For smaller projects costing less than ₹2 lakh (US$3,100), the entire amount would be released at one go.
- No project costing less than ₹1 lakh (US$1,600) would be sanctioned with exception in the case of essential projects, such as installation of hand pumps, and purchase of computers and their accessories, solar electric lamps, chaupals and equipment .
- The basket of works that could be taken up under the scheme had been widened to include projects such as the purchase of books for libraries, and ambulances and hearse vans that would be owned and controlled by district authorities.
- The purchase of Microsoft Office software along with the training of two teachers per school would be now allowed as part of an effort to promote computer literacy in the country.
- MPs would be allowed to spend up to ₹10 lakh (US$16,000) a year on projects in any State or Union Territory other than the one from where they were elected.
- A limit of ₹50 lakh (US$78,000) per annum has been imposed on contributions to trusts and societies so that more money was available for community-related works.