Special Correspondent

Wants early implementation of State Finance Commission report

Puducherry: Puducherry region convener of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) R.V. Janakiraman has called upon Chief Minister N. Rangasamy to initiate immediate steps to devolve powers to the civic bodies to restore democracy at the grassroots level in the Union Territory.

Mr. Janakiraman said in a release here on Thursday that the report of the State Finance Commission to tone up the local bodies should also be implemented early. He said that election itself was held after a gap of 38 years and whatever powers were transferred to the officials through amendments to the municipal laws to man the local bodies should also be retransferred to the elected councillors and other functionaries. Any denial of devolution or delay in sanctioning the financial and administrative powers to the elected councillors would only give rise to the impression that the dream of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi to promote civic bodies would be shattered.

Mr. Janakiraman said that the nominees of the Democratic Progressive Alliance had performed well in the civic polls and the councillors' performance would be better if there was devolution of powers.

There should be no friction between the legislators and the councillors in implementing various schemes. Both were complementary and could function in tandem. Mr. Janakiraman appealed to the Chief Minister to hold parleys with elected panchayat presidents and persuade them to drop their proposed bandh on December 12.