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Bill to replace ordinance on Jallikattu to be placed in Assembly: Governor

Chennai: Observing that a "mass movement" and "spontaneous outpouring of emotion" paved the way for lifting of the ban on jallikattu, Tamil Nadu Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao said on Monday that a bill to replace the ordinance would be "placed" by the state government in the Tamil Nadu Assembly "immediately."

"The unprecedented and spontaneous outpouring of emotion and sentiment in a completely orderly and peaceful manner by lakhs of youth, supported by common people across the state, has received the solidarity of Tamil people across the globe to conduct jallikatu and preserve Tamil cultural heritage," he said, even as the opposition DMK staged a walkout.

In his maiden address to the Assembly in its first session this calendar year, Rao said, "This mass movement has paved the way for lifting the ban on Jallikattu."

The state government, after receiving Centre's assurance on its support for efforts to conduct the sport, had followed the constitutional route and issued an ordinance amending the relevant provisions of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, he said.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

He expressed happiness over the sport being held on Sunday in the state.

The traditional sport, which was banned by the Supreme Court in 2014, was organised in several parts of the state yesterday, following promulgation of the ordinance on Saturday for conducting the bull taming sport.

"As a permanent measure to allow the conduct of Jallikattu, a bill to replace the ordinance will be placed before this august House immediately," the governor said, as the DMK staged a walkout.

Soon after Rao started his address, DMK members led by their leader MK Stalin rose and sought to raise some issue. With the Governor continuing to read out his address, they soon staged a walkout.

The assembly is meeting for the first time after former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's death on 5 December, 2016.

On demonetisation, Rao said the Centre's decision would bring a long term dividend to the economy, "although its short-term negative impact, particularly on the informal sector, farmers and small traders may last longer than expected."

The impact of demonetisation was particularly "severe" on the resources of the states as tax revenue collections have slowed down in the last few months, he said.

"As a mechanism to tide over this crisis, the state has requested the Government of India to increase its share on Centrally Sponsored Schemes from 60 per cent to 90 per cent for the next two years. I hope that this request will be considered positively," he said.

On Goods and Services Tax (GST), Rao said the Tamil Nadu government had been consistently raising various issues relating to the state's interest in implementing it.

Apart from the concerns on revenue loss, Tamil Nadu had been raising several significant issues that have a bearing on the interest of the state by taking an active and constructive role in the deliberations of the GST Council, he said.

"It is heartening to note that the members of the GST Council, including Government of India, have appreciated the concerns of Tamil Nadu and have incorporated the changes suggested by the state in the proposed legislations," the Governor said.

The guarantee of full compensation to states for losses occurring on account of implementation of GST for five years and adoption of a growth rate of 14 per cent per year over the base year 2015-16 for calculating states' revenue and determining compensation were "examples" of the spirit of accommodation exhibited by the GST Council, he said.

"In the same spirit, I request the Government of India to ensure that the present level of Central transfers after appropriate adjustment for normal growth will be maintained even after the implementation of GST," Rao said.

On cyclone 'Vardah', which had made landfall here last month, the Governor said it had uprooted and damaged a very large number of trees, both on public and private lands in Chennai and adjoining districts.

The government would launch a massive Greening Programme to replant trees in public lands and facilitate private individuals and institutions to plant trees, he said.

"As tree planting and provision of green cover was a cause close to the heart of the late Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, J Jayalalithaa, this massive tree planting initiative will be launched on 24 February, 2017" to coincide with her 69th birthday, he said.

Further, he expressed hope that the Centre would "expeditiously" respond to the state government's plea for a Rs 39,565 crore drought relief package.


Updated Date: Jan 23, 2017 17:14 PM

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