Chief Minister N Rangasamy on Saturday reiterated the demand for statehood for Puducherry citing the government’s inability to implement schemes without the Centre’s nod.
Speaking at a function after launching the Aadhar-based Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) of subsidy for domestic consumers of LPG here on Saturday, the Chief Minister maintained that being a Union Territory, Puducherry is directly under the administration of the Union Government.
“The territorial administration has to accept and implement whatever schemes the Central government brings in,” he said.
Agreeing with the views of AIADMK legislator A Anbazhagan, who had left the venue after airing his criticisms against the Centre, the CMsaid, “We are helpless.”
Seeking cooperation of all political parties to secure statehood, Rangasamy said, “Unless Puducherry becomes a State, we will continue to suffer for want of powers to take decisions and will not be able to address our problems ... The government wants all schemes implemented to be easily accessible to the people. There should be clarity on how the DBT Scheme will be implemented in Puducherry.” Banks should act quickly to ensure that beneficiaries of the DBT Scheme did not face any difficulties, the Chief Minister added.
Already, there were problems in the implementation of Old Age Pension (OAP) scheme under DBT. Pointing at the lack of proper service in this regard, he asked how many times an aged woman from Aranganur could go to a Bahour bank to collect her OAP. “When an old lady told me about frequenting the bank branch to collect the pension, I could not provide her an answer.” He advised banks to take steps to make the amount available to the aged at their doorsteps.
Earlier, speaking on the occasion, Anbazhagan said that so far, 90 per cent of the benefits of the schemes reached the people, but now the situation had become doubtful. Out of 12 lakh population, more than 3 lakh did not still have Aadhar card. If within three months they were unable to get the Aadhar card and link it to their bank accounts, they would lose the subsidy.
Citing that AIADMK supremo and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had opposed the implemzentation knowing that there was no additional benefit for the people and that there would be difficulties, he said that Puducherry CM should exercise his rights. He questioned Rangasamy’s silence on this issue.