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Partial devolution of powers to panchayats

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HOLDING DISCUSSION: Chief Minister V. Vaithilingam at the Cabinet meeting in Puducherry on Monday.
HOLDING DISCUSSION: Chief Minister V. Vaithilingam at the Cabinet meeting in Puducherry on Monday.

Staff Reporter

It was decided at a Cabinet meeting on Monday

PUDUCHERRY: The Cabinet on Monday decided to devolve powers pertaining to 22 departments to the Commune and village panchayats.

Shortly after chairing a meeting of the Cabinet, Chief Minister V. Vaithilingam told reporters that the local bodies would have exclusive power in certain departments and in others they have to share power with the territorial administration.

The local bodies would be the sole authority in dealing with schemes pertaining to National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, Indira Awas Yojana, Sanitation programmes, Forest and Land Development. However, the local bodies would have to share power with the administration in implementing drinking water, electricity and irrigation projects, he said.

To a query on the allocation of funds to the Local Bodies, he said the government would go by the recommendation of the State Finance Commission.

The government would take a decision on allocation of funds shortly, he added.

Appeal to teachers

Mr. Vaithilingam appealed to the teachers to withdraw their proposed strike from November 5 demanding implementation of Sixth Pay Commission recommendations without any condition. The government would consider all genuine demands of their association, he said adding it was not proper for the teachers to call for strike thereby putting students to hardship.

The Chief Minister said the Cabinet had taken a serious note of certain remarks made by Tamil outfits in support of banned organisations.

The government has “utmost concern to the well-being of Tamils living in Sri Lanka as was evident in the Assembly resolution seeking Union Government’s intervention in the ethnic problem” but at the same time would “not encourage support to banned organisations,” he said.

“If the government comes to know about the activities of such groups, they would be punished severely,” Mr. Vaithilingam said.


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