New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Union Cabinet today approved restoration and continuation of the Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS), which was suspended in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Addressing a press conference after a meeting of the Cabinet presided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said the scheme has been restored for the remaining part of financial year 2021-22. The scheme will continue till 2025-26.

Funds will be released at the rate of ₹ 2 crore per MP for the remaining period of 2021-22 in one instalment, he said. From 2022-23 to 2025-26, funds will be released under the scheme at the rate of ₹ 5 crore per annum to each of the MPs in two instalments of ₹ 2.5 crore each, he added.

In April last year, the government had suspended MPLADS during 2020-21 and 2021-22, and said that the funds would be used for managing health services and the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. Under the scheme, MPs can recommend development programmes involving expenditure of ₹ 5 crore every year in their constituencies.

The Cabinet also approved the revision of prices of ethanol extracted from sugarcane for doping of petrol by 1.28 per cent to Rs 63.45, up from the earlier price of Rs 62.65.

"Cabinet approves mechanism for procurement of ethanol by Public Sector Oil Marketing Companies under Ethanol Blended Petrol program. Price of ethanol from C heavy molasses increased to Rs 46.66/litre; from B heavy molasses increased to Rs 59.08/litre," said Union Minister Anurag Thakur.

The cabinet gave nod to committed price support of Rs 17,408.85 crore to the Cotton Corporation of India. CCEA approved incurring expenditure for reimbursing losses under MSP ops for cotton during the cotton season (Oct to Sept) 2014-15 to 2020-21.

100 per cent foodgrains and 20 per cent of sugar will be packed in jute bags as Cabinet approved reservation norms for Jute Packaging Materials for Jute Yr 2021-22 under Jute Packaging Material Act, 1987. The step has been taken to bring relief to 3,70,000 workers in jute mills and ancillary units.

Further, the Union cabinet approved the declaration of 15th Nov, the birth anniversary of Bhagwan Birsa Munda, as 'Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas'.

Posted By: Sugandha Jha