“I have great pleasure in releasing this book written by Dr K.N. Bhandari on the health and education initiatives undertaken through the MPLAD Scheme on the recommendation of Dr Abhishek Singhvi in Rajasthan over 12 years from 2006 to 2018.
This book illustrates the power of doing public good through sound, targeted and efficient use of MPLAD funds. While going through some of its pages, I was impressed by the many examples of how it has touched the lives of so many people in education and health sectors. I consider that this is an excellent example for other Parliamentarians to look and consider making the best to use of these funds allocated under MPLADS.
Some of the examples given by Dr Singhvi just now in his address underscore the importance of designing initiatives, which are both innovative and location-specific. Railway platform benches and ambulances on specific stretches of accident-prone roads or region specific initiatives, like the setting up ‘Piaos’ in the arid and parched areas of western Rajasthan are schemes that address critical needs of the people of this area.
I am glad that this book documents the work done by Dr. Singhvi as a parliamentarian.
Dr Abhishek Singhvi is a truly multifaceted personality—who blends and balances his professional and political roles deftly. He also leads an active public life as a third term sitting MP. He is also an author and a commentator.
As the Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law & Justice many years ago, he came in for a lot of praise, especially for the skillful and deft handling of the Lokpal Bill and the drawing up of a near unanimous Committee report, written in a very lucid manner.
Members of the Upper House have always listened to his speeches and interventions with great interest.
At this book release, my mind goes back to my early years of public life in Andhra Pradesh when I realized that social service is at the heart of good public service.
I am in agreement with the words and sentiments of Shri Harivansh, my valued colleague in the Rajya Sabha, who has rightly written in his Foreword to the book:
“I must say that Dr Singhvi presents a good example of the unexceptionable and spotless use of MPLAD funds. Such examples show that the MPLAD initiatives of schemes and ideas behind it are good and desirable; only abusers and distorters have given it a bad name. The achievements given in this book are truly impressive, which deserve to be emulated.”
I have been informed that a sizeable amount of Rs.52,810 crores approximately been spent on MPLAD scheme since its inception in 1993. As a result, a total 19 crore and 47 thousand works have been completed and the scheme has helped in creating assets across the country.
I am happy that the government has put in place third party monitoring of MPLAD works for their execution in a transparent manner. While the monitoring reports pointed to some shortcomings in implementation of the scheme, there are quite a large number of positive conclusions. There are a number of instances where there has been a high degree of involvement of local communities, groups and sections of the people in the identification of works/ facilities required as per their felt needs.
I am sure that third party monitoring mechanism coupled with the wisdom and experience of MPs would help streamline the processes for creation of assets through the scheme.
I would also like Hon’ble Members to remember the call given by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi to use MPLADS funds for Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojna to develop villages as model villages.
MPLAD Scheme was announced basically to empower people’s representatives by enabling them to serve their constituents.
The parliamentary committees too have been making a number of suggestions to further improve it. They have emphasized the need for timely release and proper utilization of funds as also the need to have a mechanism to monitor the quality of works/ projects and their timely completion. The need for effective coordination between MPs and administrative authorities was also highlighted.
While the role of an MP, as you know, is limited only to recommending the works, it is also equally important for the MP to follow up with the authorities concerned to ensure that there are no bottlenecks in the timely execution of the projects and their fruits reach the people.
I am happy to note that Shri Singhvi has been quite successful in ensuring that the scheme is implemented in its letter and spirit.
I wish Dr Abhishek Singhvi many more productive years of service to the nation. I also compliment Dr. K.N. Bhandari for his efforts in compilation of the MPLAD initiatives of Dr Abhishek Singhvi in this book titled “Parliamentary Messenger in Rajasthan”. I hope that this book will serve as a guide for all stakeholders involved in the developmental work under MPLADS.