No action on MoU for local bodies powers: Aiyer

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Puducherry, Oct 17 (UNI) Union Minister for Panchayati Raj Mani Shankar Aiyer today regretted that although a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) was signed between him and former Puducherry Chief Minister N Rangasamy in January last year for devolution of powers to the elected local body representatives, nothing materialised so far.

Talking to newspersons here during a brief halt on his way to Mayiladuthurai, Mr Aiyer said the present Chief Minister V Vaithilingam and Lt Governor Govind Singh Gurjar, evinced keen interest to grant powers to the local bodies. The Puducherry administration would come out with activity-mapping in the next few days, probably before Diwali, he added.

The minister said he would send copies of the activity-mapping in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh to Puducherry Government, which could be utilised as a model document with necessary modifications. Two experts from New Delhi would also be deputed to Puducherry to help on the issue, he added.

The administration had earmarked a token provision under 'Panchayat Window' which was the beggining of earmarking funds for the local bodies, Mr.Aiyer said, adding, he would hold discussions with the Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil to get funds allocated for Puducherry, which was not connected either to the State Finance Commission or to the Union Territory Finance Commission.

Mr Vaithilingam had urged for setting up of a National Training Institute here to train the officials and functionaries of the civic bodies, which would be considered, he added.

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