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  • Chandy said the government had earlier sanctioned Rs.30 crore to reopen cashew factories under the Cashew Development Corporation

    Mar 22nd, 2016

    The state government and the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) seem to be headed for a collision course, courtesy the Model Code of Conduct for the May 16 Assembly polls. A special meeting of the Cabinet held here on Monday was critical of decisions taken by the CEO and decided to approach the Election Commission of India. The immediate provocation for the government is the reported stoppage of tanker water supply in Kollam district following a complaint. Additionally, the CEO has said no to free rice under PDS announced by the government from April 1.

    Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said after the Cabinet meeting that the situation was such that even water supply had to be stopped in the name of the model code. The Cabinet has entrusted Chief Secretary P K Mohanty with raising four issues before the EC immediately - the water supply issue, re-opening of cashew factories, distribution of Karunya benevolent funds and funds under the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund. If the EC does not repeal the decision regarding water supply, the government would consider legal recourse, Chandy said, briefing the media after a special meeting of the Cabinet. The weekly Cabinet meeting has been advanced to Tuesday, he added. “The summer heat is intense and there is water scarcity in the state. Though it is not a drought, the government cannot agree with a decision that goes against supplying potable water,” he said.

    Meanwhile, the CEO’s office said that the rules exempt such supply, provided that the area is notified as drought-hit.

    Chandy said the government had earlier sanctioned Rs.30 crore to reopen cashew factories under the Cashew Development Corporation and to purchase raw materials. There is a need to publish advertisement regarding the renewal of registration for a comprehensive insurance scheme for cashew workers. This issue will be taken up before the EC, he said. Since funds under Karunya are paid to institutions and not individuals, it doesn’t fall under the purview of the code of conduct, CM said. Orders for releasing money under the CM’s distress relief fund had already been taken beforehand, he said.


    Source: www.newindianexpress.com