'Bedi-govt tussle impacting smooth functioning of UT'

By PTI Published on Oct 12, 2017 10:29 AM IST

Puducherry: Puducherry Chief Secretary Manoj Parida said the tussle between Lt Governor Kiran Bedi and the Congress government has impacted smooth functioning of the administration with officers in a State of confusion having to deal sometimes with contradictory orders.

"Yes. Officers are in a state of confusion. Sometimes contradictory orders are issued," he told reporters here. Parida was replying to a query on whether the frequent tussle between Bedi and the Congress regime over various issues had any impact on the smooth functioning of the government. He said both the Lt Governor, who has come under attack from the Ministers over her style of functioning, and the Chief Minister had highlighted "the problems at the highest level in the Central government and we will get a solution in due course."

The top official said Union Home Ministry had also been approached seeking clarifications. "While clarification in respect of some issues had been received from the Home Ministry, we are waiting for clarification in respect of others," he said without elaborating.

The Chief Secretary virtually opposed the Lt Governor's stand pitching for an independent Chief Vigilance Officer in Puducherry, saying the Vigilance wing here was doing its work in "a transparent and honest" manner.

"All over the country, the Chief Secretaries of the states or Union Territories are the Chief Vigilance officers (CVOs). Puducherry being part of the Indian Union cannot have a different system and Chief Secretary here is the CVO," Parida, presently holding the post, said. He said before the appointment of a Chief Secretary, the official's integrity, background and vigilance clearance were all ascertained.

"We do not not need any other certificate from any one else... I am happy to say that the vigilance wing is performing in strict adherence to rules and regulations," he added. He said corruption complaints can be made by any one to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).

"If the complaint is verifiable and specific, it is accepted for enquiry," he said adding the CVC had sent him the complaint relating to alleged irregularities in purchase of boats during 2015 for the Puducherry Tourism Development Corporation. The CVC had given him three weeks time to enquire into the allegation, he said adding the enquiry was under way.

Parida also said the UT government had written to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) seeking expansion of the airport here so that bigger aircraft could be operated. Referring to the overall financial situation of Puducherry, he said "We are in a transition stage now in the wake of the introduction of the GST."

Though there had been some revenue loss because of GST, the central government would compensate it, he said. He clarified that there was no fiscal crisis in the union territory and it only faced "a difficult fiscal situation" which would be overcome in the next three months.