Pondy Cabinet to discuss financial crisis

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Puducherry, Sept 5 (UNI) Stating that all departments are experiencing financial difficulties, Puducherry Chief Minister V Vaithilingam today said that the matter would be discussed in detail at tomorrow's Cabinet meeting.

Adressing a press conference, he said a report on the financial situation of the Union Territory would be prepared at the Cabinet meeting to be submitted to the Centre.

He, along with his Cabinet colleagues would be visiting New Delhi next week to meet UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Home Minister Shivraj Patil, Finance Minister P Chidambaram and the Planning Commission Chairman.

The financial requirements would be split into three categories of short-term, long-term and future need and it would be discussed and decided whether to obtain the fund once in full from the Centre or to get more funds in the years to come. Top priority would be accorded to peoples' welfare schemes, he added.

To a question Mr Vaithilingam said the government would welcome constructive criticisms from the Opposition parties.

Stating that equal consideration would be given to all the four regions of the Union territory, the Chief Minister said Mahe and Yanam regions got ministerial representations. Since, there are no ministers from Karaikal region, he would visit the region once in every 15 days and the ministers once in a month.

Asked about devolution of powers to elected local body representatives, Mr Vaithilingam said his government would take all the steps required to allocate powers to them under the Panchayati Raj System.

On the issue of introducing ''Goondas Act,'' he said the Congress party wanted to introduce it. Full freedom would be given to the police and there would be no political intervention in police administration, he added.

On the greetings from Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, Mr Vaithilingam said he would consider it as a blessing and also a greeting for the entire people of the Union territory.

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