The Delhi Cabinet on Tuesday approved a proposal to increase the MLA Local Area Development (MLALAD) fund from Rs. 4 crore to Rs. 10 crore annually. The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
A proposal to establish 15 academies of different languages, including international languages, was also granted approval. A proposal of the Social Welfare Department to ensure that people with disability who get pensions are not categorised under the old age pension category after attaining the age of 60 also got a nod.
In the Assembly
Informing the Delhi Assembly about the Cabinet’s decision, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said it was a demand of every legislator to increase the MLALAD fund. “The Cabinet has decided to increase the MLALAD fund from the existing Rs. 4 crore to Rs. 10 crore in a year,” Mr. Sisodia told the Assembly on the second day of the Monsoon Session.
It is a good example of decentralisation of funds and functioning, he said, adding that the move was an attempt to ensure that local development through MLAs from different parties was prioritised.
The Deputy CM said that the Delhi government was the first in the country to increase the MLALAD fund to the current amount.
“The utilisation of MLALAD funds is at the discretion of legislators and can be used for any purpose or local project,” Mr. Sisodia said.
Asked about problems faced by legislators in spending funds, Mr. Sisodia said the Cabinet has also given power to the Urban Development (UD) Minister to make minor changes in guidelines meant for the MLALAD fund.
In Delhi, an MLA currently gets Rs. 4 crore in a year to execute various works in his/her constituency. UD Minister Satyendar Jain said the Cabinet’s decision will be implemented by end of this year.
Mr. Sisodia said the Cabinet has also approved another proposal to set up a foreign language academy in Delhi, apart from several Indian language academies, including Telugu, Kashmiri, Malayalam and Gujarati.
“The Delhi Cabinet has decided to establish 15 academies of different languages,” Mr. Sisodia told legislators in the Assembly.
The government said that academies of Marathi, Malayalam, Gujarati, Bengali, international languages, Pali and Prakrit, Kumaoni-Garhwali and Jaunsari, Marwadi, Kashmiri, Assamese, Haryanvi, Oriya, Kannada, Malayalam and Telugu would be established in Delhi.
In relation to the proposal to his Department’s scheme, Social Welfare Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam tweeted: “Happy to announce that Cabinet took an important and significant decision regarding the disability pension today… Now they will not be categorised under old age pension scheme, rather they will get enhanced amount of Rs. 2,500 under the Disability Pension Scheme even after attaining the age of 60.”
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