‘L-G rejecting govt. proposal an abuse of power’

V. Narayanasamy   | Photo Credit: T_Singaravelou

Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy on Wednesday termed as “irregular” and amounting to “abuse of power” Lt. Governor Kiran Bedi’s decision to shoot down the government’s proposal to withdraw the special excise duty on liquor, which was imposed as a COVID-19 containment measure in May.

Addressing a virtual press meet, the Chief Minister said the government had sent the proposal after assessment of an improvement in the COVID situation and to stimulate the revival of the Union Territory’s economy, which was heavily invested on tourism.

Hike in licence fee

The government proposed to withdraw the 100% COVID tax on liquor and instead impose 15% and double the licence fee to help boost year-end tourism. However, in extending the special duty till January 31, Ms. Bedi had flouted rules and acted in contravention of the Madras High Court ruling that the Lt. Governor did not have special powers to overrule a government decision, Mr. Narayanasamy stated.

“The extension of the special duty for two more months will lower sales and revenue to the government. It is regrettable that the Lt. Governor is blocking revenue to the State and this is something that people should realise. This is the latest instance of the Lt. Governor overriding a government decision,” he said.

Mr. Narayanasamy also expressed support for the ongoing farmers’ stir demanding the repeal of three agricultural laws. Terming the demands of the farmers for a fair price just, he urged the Centre to immediately repeal the “anti-farmer” Act and resolve the issue.

By bringing in these laws, the BJP government had betrayed the farmers and the agitation was gaining solidarity among farmers and political parties in other States as well, he said.

The Chief Minister said though he had written to the Prime Minister, the Home Minister and the Finance Minister seeking interim relief of ₹100 crore in the wake of the losses suffered from the impact of Cyclone Nivar, there had been no response. Pointing out that it is estimated that the Union Territory’s fishermen, farmers and infrastructure had suffered a loss of at least ₹400 crore, he hoped that the Central team, which was expected to arrive to assess losses, would expedite sanction of relief.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2021 5:57:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/l-g-rejecting-govt-proposal-an-abuse-of-power/article33234711.ece

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