Fiscal requirement pegged at Rs 8,425 crore: Kiran Bedi

Puducherry: The fiscal requirement of Puducherry for the financial year 2019-2020 has been pegged at Rs 8,425 crore. Lieutenant Governor of the union territory Kiran Bedi, also chairperson of the State Planning Board, told reporters at the end of its meeting here Saturday that “it was a useful deliberation which was comprehensive, frank, fair and creative.”

The board met to finalise the draft plan of the union territory, projecting the financial requirements of every department. She thanked the board members, including Chief Minister, Ministers, legislators and Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) who made ‘good and valuable’ suggestions. Expressing hope that the budget would benefit the people of the union territory, Bedi said the draft plan finalised at the meeting would be presented to the Centre by the Chief Minister V Narayanasamy who was also present when she briefed newsmen on the deliberations.

The Lt Governor said once the Centre gave its nod to the draft budget, it would be presented on the floor of the House when it met. However, the date of the budget session is yet to be decided. She said, “Diligence on the part of the officials and also speed was absolutely necessary in implementation of the decisions taken at the meeting.”

When the Chief Minister was asked by Bedi to spell out his views as the territorial Finance Minister, Narayanasamy said he would make his views known on the floor of the House. At the July 6 meeting of the board, Narayanasamy and his ministers staged a walkout to protest Bedi’s failure to include leaders of legislature wings of DMK, AIADMK and BJP as board members.

Minutes after the meeting chaired by Bedi began, the chief minister protested the non-inclusion of the leaders of the legislature wings of the parties and staged a walkout with his ministers accompanying him. Reacting to this, Bedi said Narayanasamy and his ministerial colleagues have disrupted the meeting of the planning board and the proceedings cannot go on as it was abruptly disrupted.

She said there was confusion in the past on the structure of the board as some MLAs were included as members at one time and not on other occasions. Hence, a proper procedure should be adopted in the matter, she said, adding that the meeting was rescheduled for 13 July.