Puducherry

Centre might as well declare Puducherry ‘transgender’, says Chief Minister Narayansamy

Puducherry Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy

Puducherry Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy   | Photo Credit: L. Balachandar

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The Chief Minister caused a flutter with his remark, made on the sidelines of a national workshop

Irked over the Centre treating Puducherry as a State for the implementation of some schemes, and as a Union Territory (UT) for other programmes, Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy on Thursday caused a flutter saying the Centre could as well declare Puducherry a ‘transgender’, as the UT could “neither be here or there”.

Inaugurating a national workshop on ‘Challenges to India’s Fiscal Federalism’ organised by the Indian Institute of Social Sciences, Puducherry and Gulati Institute of Finance and Taxation, Thiruvananthapuram, Mr. Narayanasamy said that Puducherry was discriminated against by the Centre which adopted different standards in treating the UT.

He said that for the purpose of Goods and Service Tax (GST) and other Centrally Sponsored Schemes, Puducherry is treated by the Centre as per its convenience as a State. But for implementation of various other programmes, Puducherry is treated as a UT. “We are neither here or there. So we told them to declare Puducherry as a transgender if this situation should persist,” he remarked.

While the newly created Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has been included as a member of the Central Finance Commission, the UT of Puducherry which also has a legislature has been denied membership of the Commission.

Though Puducherry has been making good progress in the implementation of developmental programmes, he lamented no recognition has been given. “We are in a precarious position with the Centre discriminating against us and the administration facing several bottlenecks,” he said.

Mr. Narayanasamy pointed out that Puducherry’s main source of revenue was from commercial taxes, excise and transport. The Centre has reduced its budgetary support from 30% to 26% and the UT is yet to be reimbursed for its share in GST for August and September.

The territorial administration has been facing various bottlenecks in implementing the free rice scheme. The government’s decision to distribute rice through the Public Distribution System instead of the cash equivalent has been rejected by Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi who has been insisting on the distribution of cash into the bank accounts of beneficiaries, he said.

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Printable version | Dec 8, 2019 3:41:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/centre-might-as-well-declare-puducherry-transgender-says-chief-minister-narayansamy/article30037572.ece

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