Pondy govt needs Centre's nod for budget proposals: CM

Pondy govt needs Centre's nod for budget proposals: CM

V Narayanasamy

Rejecting the allegation by opposition AIADMK that there was a delay in presenting the budget for fiscal 2019-20, Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy on Tuesday said the territorial government needs Centre's approval for its proposals.

We are different from state like Tamil Nadu, where the budget could be prepared and presented on the floor of the state Assembly within days, he pointed out.

Narayanasamy was replying to the allegation by AIADMK legislature party leader A Anbalagan that there was "abnormal delay" in preparation and presentation of the budget.

"We sent it to the Centre projecting fiscal requirement at Rs 8,425 crores on July 13 and we had the clearance of Central grant of Rs 1,500 crores for our budget on August 23 as the Home and Finance Ministries had to peruse our draft budget proposals," he said.

One should not blame the central government for showing a delay in clearing its grant and approving the budget proposals of Puducherry, he added.

Disputing the claim of AIADMK that there was basically delay on the part of his government in sending draft proposals to the Centre, the Chief Minister said, "The Parliament had its session and hence the Centre cannot be blamed as it had pressing preoccupation."

The BJP nominated member V Saminathan said the Chief Minister had made it clear that there was no delay on the part of the Centre in sanctioning the grant. However, Agriculture Minister R Kamalakannan struck a discordant note by taking the stand that there was "deliberate delay" now on the part of the Centre to release its grants and approve the budget proposals of Puducherry.

Kamalakannan recalled how in the past during the Congress regime the then governments at the Centre had given the approval to Puducherry government's budget proposals within three to five days of its submission.

"Even during the tenure of A B Vajpayee, Puducherry had got Centre's green signal for its budget within fives days," he said and alleged now there was a deliberate delay in approval of proposals and sanction of the grants.