India and Uganda historically have friendly relationships and strong cultural and economic ties, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh said Friday after meeting a parliamentary delegation from the African nation.
The Ugandan Parliamentary delegation, comprising Cecilia Atim Ogwal Barbara, Peter Ogwang, Robinah Nabbanja and Ssemujju Nganda Ibrahim, met Harivansh who is also the chairman of the committee on Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS).
Welcoming the delegation, the Rajya Sabha deputy chairman said India's relations with Uganda have been historical and friendly.
"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," Harivansh said, adding the Indian diaspora in Uganda provides a strong cultural and economic link between the two countries.
Speaking about the recent interaction between the two countries, he referred to the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Uganda.
It was the first visit of any Indian prime minister to Uganda in the last 21 years, which demonstrates the importance India attaches to its relations with that country in particular and Africa in general, the Rajya Sabha deputy chairman said.
He also recalled the 126th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) held in Uganda in April, 2012, which was attended by the Speaker of Lok Sabha Meira Kumar.
Harivansh congratulated the Ugandan government and parliament for being a host to the forthcoming 64th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference scheduled from September 22 to 29 which will be attended by the Speaker of Lok Sabha and Speakers of Legislative Assemblies of India.
The Rajya Sabha deputy chairman said the purpose of Friday's meeting was to discuss the operations of the Constituency Development Funds in India in view of the proposal for "reinstating" the same in the Parliament of Uganda.
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 MPs to recommend developmental works based on locally felt needs to be taken up in their Constituencies.
He said the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation is the nodal ministry for policy formulation, release of funds and monitoring the implementation of the MPLAD Scheme.
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 MPs regarding non-implementation or delay in implementation of projects under the scheme and to ensure effective monitoring of such works.
Giving a brief account of the panel, he said the committee on MPLADS in Rajya Sabha was constituted on September 5, 1998, and the deputy chairman of the Upper House heads the panel.
The delegation applauded the Indian democratic system for guiding the nation and shaping the destiny of the people. It praised the big stride made by India in the economical growth.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)