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AIMIM chief and Lok Sabha MP from Hyderabad Asaduddin Owaisi has proposed that the Member of Parliament Local Area Development (MPLAD) fund should be allowed to be used for bearing the cost of Covid-19 tests for the needy and poor people.

So far, only the government labs were doing the tests, and they were free of cost.

In a tweet in which he tagged Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Owaisi said: "We need ample testing to assess the extent of this crisis. Request @JoshiPralhad @ombirlakota to allow MPs to utilise funds from MPLAD to cover costs of testing for those patients who cannot afford to pay."

"Relevant norms can be prescribed to ensure transparent use of funds," he added.

The proposal came after the Centre on Saturday opened the door for private laboratories to carry out tests for Covid-19. 

The government has cost of the tests at Rs 4,500.
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