Lt Governor addresses Puducherry House amidst a boycott by some ruling MLAs

Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi being received by speaker V. P. Sivakolundhu, at the Legislative Assembly in Puducherry on Friday   | Photo Credit: T.S ingaravelou

Delivering her customary address to the Assembly amid a stand-off with the government on several issues, Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi on Friday said the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) of the Union Territory has increased by 10.95 per cent in 2019-20 over the previous year.

Amidst a boycott of her address by two Ministers and three legislators belonging to the Congress, Ms. Bedi, in her address, said the GSDP was estimated at ₹37,943 crore (current price) for 2019-20. The per capita income of Puducherry also increased from ₹2, 20,208 (current price) for the year 2018-19 to ₹2,32,057 (current price) for the year 2019-20. It was a growth of 5.3 per cent.

The government has firmly maintained its borrowing, interest payment, fiscal deficit and revenue deficit within the limits prescribed in the fiscal roadmap which augers well for the economy of UT, she said.

On the financial front, the government has performed well during 2019-20. The expenditure incurred by the government was ₹7,927 crore as against the total outlay of ₹,8525 crore which worked out to 93 per cent.

Non- receipt of GST compensation of about ₹360 crore before March 2020 was a major reason for reduction in targeted expenditure, the Lt Governor said.

“It is a matter of great pride to all of us that this Union Territory has secured not only the first position in four good governance indicators such as human resource development, public health, justice and law and order but also ranked top among the 7 UTs in the Good Governance Index,” Ms. Bedi said.

Complimenting the Chief Minister, Ministers and elected representatives in the field working during the fight against the novel coronavirus, the Lt Governor appealed to the public to strictly avoid venturing out except under essential circumstances to prevent spread of the virus.

In her more than one-hour long speech, Ms. Bedi listed out various achievements and programmes implemented by the government during the last year. Ms. Bedi had earlier skipped addressing the house on the opening day of the budget session citing procedural violations in presenting the budget. However, she gave her approval a day after the budget was presented on Monday.

On Wednesday, the government had again invited the Lt Governor, requesting her to address the Assembly on Friday.

Ministers, MLAs boycott

Minister for Public Works A. Namassivayam, Minister for Health Malladi Krishna Rao, Parliamentary Secretary to the Chief Minister K. Lakshminarayanan, Government Whip R. K. R. Anantharaman, and Congress legislator T. Djeamourthy stayed away from the house when Ms. Bedi addressed the members.

Mr. Lakshminarayanan told The Hindu that they wanted to express displeasure for the remarks she made against legislators. “She made certain remarks -- asking legislators to consult clinical psychologists. It was demeaning to elected representatives,” he said.

Walk out

AIADMK legislators staged a walk out after the Lt Governor completed her address. They said the style or functioning of the Congress government and the Lt Governor had destroyed the growth of the Union Territory and caused hardships to the public.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2020 8:14:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/lt-governor-addresses-puducherry-house-amidst-a-boycott-by-some-ruling-mlas/article32180863.ece

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