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No secrecy in patta allotment: Paneerselvam

By Our Special Correspondent

CHENNAI. MARCH 23. There is no secrecy in allotment of pattas to the poor, the Revenue Minister, O. Paneerselvam, said today.

If there were specific complaints of irregularities, the Government would take action.

He was responding to a charge levelled in the Assembly by Balabharathi (CPI-M), who wanted the list of beneficiaries made public.

She suggested the setting up of a committee with elected representatives and officials in each district under the chairmanship of the Collector to monitor patta allotment for eliminating chances of wrongdoing.

Encroachments removal

The member said the removal of encroachments in the southern districts created tension in almost all towns. Authorities were indiscriminately pulling down everything without giving the affected people any alternative. A woman selling lemon on the street and the owner of a three-storey textile shop could not be treated equally even if both encroached on government land.

Mr. Paneerselvam said the Government would examine the possibilities of giving people alternative sites. The demolition was being carried out on court orders.

G. Palanichamy (CPI) said vendors who encroached on road space should not be treated like bootleggers or petty criminals.

K. Pitchandi (DMK) criticised the Government for not distributing adequate number of house site pattas, patta passbooks and old-age pensions to eligible persons. He urged it to ensure that the posts of village administrative officer were not left vacant.

S. Rajendran (CPI) wanted the Government to enhance the pay for employees of the Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation as it was earning huge profits. He also urged the Government to implement the Kolappan Committee recommendations on farm wages.

K.N. Lakshmanan (BJP) said the Government should lead by example and should not be involved in retail vending of liquor. Much of the tsunami relief given in cash came back to the Government via liquor shops.

V. Sivapunniyam (CPI) suggested the opening of toddy shops to give employment to a large number of people.

Big employer

Replying to the debate on the Personnel and Administrative Reforms Department, the Finance Minister, C. Ponnaiyan, said 2.13 per cent of the population in the State was employed by the Government. This ratio was high compared to Andhra Pradesh (1.75 per cent), Karnataka (1.36 per cent), Orissa (1.87 per cent), Gujarat (1.69 per cent) and Uttar Pradesh (1.07 per cent). Despite this, appointments in essential departments were being made.

A Rs. 17.87-lakh electronic file tracking and monitoring system would be introduced in the department.

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