Puducherry Sept 30 (PTI) Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi has said the Centre’s communication on increasing the delegated financial powers of the union territory government did not mandate her to delegate any of her financial powers. Also Read - Bedi says happy as Pondy CM ends dharna
“Some vested interests” circulated a Union Home Ministry letter over delegation of financial powers, she said adding no request had been received from the government seeking delegation of powers. Also Read - UK firm keen to make electric SUV vehicles in Pondy: Minister
“The letter nowhere mandates or directs me as the Lt Governor to delegate any of my financial powers… the discretion to delegate powers is entirely with the Lt Governor only,” Bedi said in WhatsApp message to mediapersons late Saturday night. Also Read - Pondy CM dubs union budget as 'poll-oriented'
On the contrary, the letter “is alerting me that I should remain responsiblefor correctness and appropriateness of all financial decisions,” said Bedi, who has been at loggerheads with the Congress government since she assumed office in May 2016.
She made the clarification shortly after the chief minister’s office made public the letter from the home ministry doubling the delegated financial powers of the Puducherry government to sanction projects from Rs 50 crore to Rs 100 crore.
The Centre’s communique has said Chief Minister V Narayanasamy had made a request to the Union Home Ministry on August 31 regarding the delegation of financial powers for approval, sanction of projects and schemes. It has been approved and enhanced to Rs 100 crore from Rs 50 crore.
Bedi said the Home Ministry`s letter advised her to follow Rule 13 (3) of Delegation of Financial Powers Rules.
According to her, the rule says `I may do not shall do – and further states that if I do the delegation I remain responsible for their correctness, regularity and propriety of the decisions taken by the said delegated officer.” She asked where the letter directs the Lieutenant Governor`s office to delegate the powers.
“I shall apply my mind at that time to take a suitable decision as and when it comes… I in the meanwhile continue to remain duty bound and accountable to protect the public money as mandated by law,” Bedi added.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.