Kiran Bedi seeks Centre's opinion to introduce casino in Pondy

Sunday 23rd February 2020

Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi has sought the opinion of Centre on the Congress government's proposal to introduce casinos in the Union Territory as part of its measures to shore up more revenue.

In a WhatsApp message to the media on Sunday, containing details of the number of files cleared last week, the former IPS officer said she had referred on February 17, the file received from the government seeking an amendment to the Puducherry Gaming Act 1965 to open onshore and offshore casino here.

While Bedi had been maintaining that the casino should not be introduced, the Narayanasamy-led government had been insisting on the facility from the point of mobilising revenue for the fund starved administration.

A difference of opinion had cropped up and whenever there is a disagreement between the Administrator (Lt Governor) and the elected government, the matter should be sent to the Home Ministry as per provisions of the rules relating to the conduct of the business of the Administration. Hence, the proposal of the government to introduce on casino was referred to the Home Ministry for its opinion.

Virtually rebutting criticisms by the Chief Minister that she had been sitting on the government files for months together, the Lt Governor said 73 files relating to various subjects were cleared last week and one relating to casino had however been sent to the Home Ministry for its opinion.

She also said she had uploaded the details of the files in her WhatsApp message only to ensure that transparency was being maintained by her office and also to enable the officers to know of the status of the files. The move of the government to establish casinos had already drawn criticisms from various quarters including the CPI, a constituent of the Secular front headed by the ruling Congress.

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