New Delhi, July 12 : A Ugandan parliamentary delegation was welcomed by Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman, Harivansh, on Friday.
The delegation was led by Parliamentary commissioners Cecilia Atim Ogwal Barbara, Peter Ogwang, Robinah Nabbanja and MP Ssemujju Nganda Ibrahim.
Welcoming the delegation, Mr Harivansh said that India's relations with Uganda have been historical and friendly. He said that these relationships have been underpinned by the constant support provided by the President of Uganda, Yoweri K Museveni, to the large Indian diaspora which has made Uganda its second home and contributed to its economy largely.
'The members of Indian community provide a strong cultural and economic link between our two countries,'he said. Alluding on the recent high-profile interaction between the two nations, Mr Harivansh referred to the visit of Prime Minister Modi to Uganda.
'It was the first visit in the last 21 years of any Indian Prime Minister to Uganda which demonstrates priorities and importance India attaches to its relations with Uganda in particular and Africa in general,'he said.
Mr Harivansh also recalled the 126th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) held in Uganda in April, 2012, which was attended by the then Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar.
He congratulated Ugandan Government and Parliament for being host to the forthcoming 64th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference scheduled to be held in Uganda from September 22-29 , 2019 which will be attended by the Lok Sabha Speaker and Speakers of Legislative Assemblies of India He wished them all success in hosting the event.
Mr Harivansh stated that the purpose of the meeting is to benchmark and discuss the operations of the Constituency Development Funds in India in view of the proposal for reinstating the scheme in Parliament of Uganda. He said that in India, the Scheme is known as Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) which was launched in December, 1993 to provide a mechanism for the Members of Parliament to recommend works of developmental nature for creation of durable community assets and provision of basic facilities including community infrastructure, based on locally felt needs to be taken up in their Constituencies.
He said that the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation is the nodal Ministry responsible for policy formulation, release of funds and monitoring the implementation of the MPLAD Scheme.
Mr Harivansh also apprised the delegation that there is a Committee on MPLADS in both the Houses of Parliament to look into various aspects of MPLAD Scheme including complaints received from Members regarding non-implementation/delay in implementation of works/projects under the Scheme and to ensure effective monitoring of works being implemented under the Scheme.
Giving a brief account about the Committee, he said that the Committee on MPLADS in Rajya Sabha was constituted on 5 September, 1998 under the Chairmanship of Deputy Chairman, Rajya Sabha. Presently, the Committee on MPLADS in the Rajya Sabha is a 13-member Committee comprising leaders from all major parties and headed by the Deputy Chairman, Rajya Sabha. He then asked the Secretary, Ministry Statistics and Programme Implementation to give detailed presentation on the Scheme.
The delegation thanked the Deputy Chairman for extending a warm welcome and applauded the Indian democratic system to guide and shape the nation and its people. It praised the big strides made by India in the economic growth which is also inclusive. The delegation expressed satisfaction over the detailed information and replies to their queries in connection with the Local Area Development Fund during the PowerPoint Presentation made by the Secretary, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation. (UNI)