Raajiv Yaduvanshi, the Finance Secretary of the Union Territory who was reinstated to his position after a bid by Chief Minister N Rangasamy to move him to another department failed, has been maintaining strict financial discipline in the backdrop of the financial crunch and has been abiding by the road map on finance that he had given to the central ministry on behalf of Puducherry Administration.
Sources said this was causing inconvenience to the Chief Minister, as he is unable to implement promises that he had made to the electorate in his election manifesto during the last assembly election that brought him to power.
In this scenario, the Chief minister wanted the finance secretary to give approval for moving of funds earmarked for one scheme to another, from one head of accounts to another. Since this is a financial violation as per the plan allocation sanctioned by the Planning Commission, based on which the budget is presented, the Finance secretary refused. The chief minister also wanted cheques to be signed for a certain amount, but Yaduvanshi consented to only a smaller amount, sources said
Apart from this, the chief minister also wanted approval for drawing finance from funds earmarked for “committed expenditure” under the non-plan budget, which includes salary and wages, pension and payment of interest.
The amount `530 crore set aside for this purpose is given by the Central government to the territorial government as per the non-plan gap grant. Yaduvanshi did not oblige the chief minister in this regard, said sources.
The chief minister’s plan to change the finance secretary failed, as the rules of business governing administrative and financial matters state that the power for appointment of chief secretary, finance secretary, development commissioner and director general of police or inspector general of police (heads of departments) is vested with the MHA. Rangasamy had a similar problem with Chief Secretary Rakesh Bihari in 2007, for similar reasons, which finally led to his ouster.