Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had assured Tamil Nadu government that there was no change in the stand of the Centre on reconciliation and devolution of political powers to ethnic Tamils in Sri Lanka, Union Minister of State in PMO V Narayanasamy said today. Talking to reporters here, Narayanasamy said the UPA government was firm that there should be no dilution of the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution. 13th Amendment is part of the Indo-Lanka accord of 1987 which seeks to give more powers to the provinces.
There are reports that the Lankan government wants to repeal it despite India's concerns. He said the Prime Minister had also made it clear that there would be no change in the Centre's stand on Sri Lankan Tamils issue. He said the Sethusamudram Canal Project would be implemented and already Rs 5,500 crores had been earmarked for the project which would not affect environment. "The Centre is firm to implement the project," he said. On Tendulkar Committee for Poverty Estimation, Narayanasamy said the Prime Minister would have a detailed study of the committee's report and then take a decision. Criticising Puducherry Chief Minister N Rangasamy for "failing" to utilise the allocations under annual plan and centrally sponsored schemes fully, the minister said only 46 per cent of the total allocations of Rs 3,000 crore made for the fiscal 2012-2013 were utilised.