25 Feb 2020

Puducherry Casino Proposal Referred to Home Ministry by Kiran Bedi

Kiran Bedi

Union Territory (UT) Puducherry’s Lieutenant Governor (LG) Kiran Bedi has sought opinion of the central Home Ministry on the proposal of the UT’s Congress government to open casinos in the area to generate revenues for the territory.

Chief Minister of the Union Territory (UT) of Puducherry, V. Narayanasamy has been, since 2016, mooting the idea of opening offshore casinos in the region, in line with Goa casinos, to boost tourism and attract visitors from other states. The minister has earlier stated that permission to allow casinos, lotteries and breweries will help the union territory earn much needed funds.

Despite the UT’s government being fully ready to allow casinos in the area, there is opposition to the proposal from the UT’s Lieutenant Governor (LG) Kiran Bedi who thinks that allowing casinos in the area will affect its quality of domestic and international tourists and cause social problems.

When there’s a disagreement between the UT’s Lt Governor representing the centre and the elected government of the territory, the matter ought to be sent to the Home Ministry for their opinion. Therefore, the proposal of opening casinos in Puducherry and the proposed amendments to the Puducherry Gaming Act, 1965 have been referred by Bedi to the Home Ministry.

As per a report in Deccan Herald, in a Whatsapp to the media on Sunday, the former IPS officer said that 73 files related to various subjects were cleared last week and one file relating to the casino proposal has been forwarded to the Home Ministry for its consideration and opinion. This Whatsapp message also debunked criticism from the Chief Minister that Bedi had been sitting on the government files for months altogether.

Bedi said that she uploaded the details of the files on Whatsapp in the spirit of maintaining transparency by her office and for officers to be updated about the status of the files.

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