Our Bureau

Thiruvananthapuram, March 17

The Election Commission has barred the Kerala Government from signing the final agreement on the Rs 1,500-crore Smart City project in Kochi as part of the model code of conduct for the ensuing elections to the State Assembly.

The Commission, however, has allowed the State Government to implement the pay revision's report revising the wages of the Government employees and teachers.

The Chief Election Commissioner, Mr B.B. Tandon, told newspersons here on Friday that the State Assembly had passed a unanimous resolution seeking the permission of the commission for implementing the wage revision report. The Commission has sanctioned the revision without any changes in the report, he said.

He noted that with the Assembly passing the resolution, the implementation of the report would not disturb the level playing filed for any political party.

The commission had earlier refused permission to implement the report as the State Government had taken the decision in this regard on the effective date of March 1 when the model code of conduct came into effect.

CM'S STAND

The Chief Minister, Mr Oommen Chandy, later said the Government was not in agreement with the Commission in disallowing the signing of the agreement for the Smart City. The memorandum of understanding for the project was signed with Dubai Internet City almost nine months ago and the Cabinet had also approved the project.

On the wage revision of the Government employees and teachers, the Chief Minister said it would be implemented from this month.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 18, 2006)
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