Puducherry Minister writes letter to Lt Governor, accuses her of “vengeful” attitude towards fishermen

Minister Malladi Krishna Rao  

Minister for Health Malladi Krishna Rao has accused Lt Governor Kiran Bedi of adopting a “vengeful,” attitude towards the fishermen community in the Union Territory.

In a letter to Ms. Bedi on Wednesday, the Minister said the “vengeful” attitude of the Lt Governor had resulted in the stalling of the disbursal of an enhanced pension scheme for the elderly in the community, the trawling ban assistance and the implementation of employment-oriented schemes in the fishing sector.

Mr. Rao, who also holds the fishing portfolio, said the Cabinet had decided to enhance the pension for elderly fishermen. After much delay, the Lt Governor cleared the proposal in March this year and accordingly the pension was disbursed for April. When the file was presented again to her for sanction to implement the enhanced pension after presenting a full budget, the Lt Governor refused to give permission citing funds crunch. She wanted the government to revert to the earlier pension scheme. The decision of the Lt Governor had affected the life of around 7,855 fishermen families, the Minister said.

Many fishermen are yet to receive the ban relief assistance due to various restrictions imposed by the Lt Governor, he said.

The government of India had proposed to establish a fish processing units in Puducherry and Karaikal region for exporting products. But the Lt Governor refused to give permission and instead suggested setting up of dairy and honey production units. The suggestion was not feasible as there was already a shortage in milk production and there was lack of availability of honey, the Minister said.

“This shows her intentional vengeance towards the fishermen community,” he alleged.

Stating that he had decided not to collect a salary or any allowance as a measure to bring down expenditure, the Minister requested the Lt Governor to cut down the expenditure of Raj Nivas too.

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Printable version | Dec 4, 2020 11:17:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/puducherry-minister-writes-letter-to-lt-governor-accuses-her-of-vengeful-attitude-towards-fishermen/article32853373.ece

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