Staff Correspondent

Disgruntled Congress leaders accused of raking up controversial issues

VAT revenue down by Rs. 500 crores Centre agrees to subsidise 50 per cent of the loss No consensus among ministers on giving suo motu powers to the Lokayukta

BELLARY: Deputy Chief Minister M.P. Prakash has said that Congress's efforts to share power with the All India Progressive Janata Dal (AIPJD) in some zilla and taluk panchayats is illogical and unwarranted.

Mr. Prakash told presspersons here on Monday that when the coalition government is going on smoothly, there is no need for the Congress to join hands with others. Even Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh had openly admitted this. Mr. Prakash accused some of the disgruntled Congressmen of raking up such issues. He said the State's finances were sound and stable and there will not be any hindrance for the implementation of the common minimum programme.

Plan outlay

Mr. Prakash said the Finance Commission fixing the outlay at Rs. 16,166 crores showed that the coalition is capable of mobilising the required resources.

To a question, he said revenue collection after introduction of Value Added Tax (VAT) had come down by Rs. 400 crores compared to the earlier system and the Centre agreed to subidise 50 per cent of the loss. He was hopeful that the VAT system, which was in a gestation period, would get streamlined in the next four years.

Mr. Prakash said the State Government had released Rs. 40 crores to Rs. 20 crores each for building mini-Vidhana Soudhas and for development of temples - to be spent before the end of March this year. Funds for the development and renovation of temples will be released based on the recommendations of the elected representatives.

He did not agree to the grouse of the Lokayukta that the Government is not keen to permit prosecution of "corrupt" officials.