Union Minister of State for PMO, V Narayanasamy, criticised Chief Minister N Rangasamy for his appeal on Statehood and said that it would only harm Puducherry financially.
Addressing reporters on Sunday, Narayanasamy said if Puducherry became a State, the Central grant would be 30 per cent, which would be less than what the UT is getting now.
Responding to the comments made by the Chief Minister and AIADMK state secretary A Anbazhagan on Saturday at the launch of Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) for LPG subsidy, Narayanasamy said they knew nothing about the scheme and had not understood the real purpose of it.
The Centre wanted to cap leakages of subsidy and ensure that it was reaching the real beneficiaries. Without understanding this, Rangasamy and Anbazhagan criticised the Centre, he said and added that their comments needed to be condemned.
“How will the AINRC government, who could not seek and obtain funds from the Centre, provide good governance under Statehood status when the central grant would be reduced to 30 per cent,” he asked.
Narayanasamy said Congress preferred special category status for Puducherry as it would only help the administration to overcome the financial crisis and deliver good governance.
During the function, Anbazhagan walked out saying that the scheme would not go well with Puducherry. The Chief Minister maintained that the scheme was being implemented out of ‘helplessness’ and compulsion and that Puducherry needed statehood to resist the imposition of such schemes by the Central government.
Responding to a query whether funds being remitted to the bank would be delivered at the door-step of the beneficiary, he said it would be ensured that the beneficiary got the money at his door-step in the second phase. He claimed that state governments were taking credit for the implementation of DBT scheme.
Asked about his non-participation during the launch of the LPG subsidy under DBT, Narayanasamy said the officials had approached him a week ago and requested him to take part in the function. But he had informed them about his pre-occupation in Delhi. He said the officials were requested to organise the event on Saturday evening so that he could take part. However, the officials organised the function in the forenoon without intimating him, he said and added that the officials had met him on Sunday morning and apologised for that.
However, Narayanasamy said he would take up the matter with the Petroleum Ministry and the officials responsible would be punished.