Puducherry CM Rangasamy calls on PM Modi, seeks Rs 2k crore to present budget

The draft budget of Rs 11,000 crore -- sent by the government almost a month ago -- was yet to be approved by the Centre.

Published: 10th August 2022 06:08 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th August 2022 06:08 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

PUDUCHERRY: 15 months after assuming charge, Puducherry Chief Minister Rangasamy called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his chamber in New Delhi seeking additional central assistance of Rs 2,000 crore to present the annual budget for 2022-2023. He also raised the issue of Statehood and other financial needs of the UT.

Rangasamy made the visit on Tuesday, a day ahead of the commencement of the budget session in the Assembly. The draft budget of Rs 11,000 crore -- sent by the government almost a month ago -- was yet to be approved by the Centre.

Submitting a memorandum to the Prime Minister, the CM said that the Rs 2,000 crore was essential even to maintain the revised budget estimates of Rs 10,414 crore of the previous year (2021-2022), if GST compensation was not extended during the current year. Against the central assistance of `1,874 crore in 2021-2022, only Rs 1,724 crore was allocated for the current year which is Rs 150 crore less than the last year. "The budget cannot be presented in the Assembly unless the additional central assistance is granted," said the chief minister, requesting the Centre consider the case in a sympathetic manner.

He also pointed out that the Union Territory government had to pay arrears to the tune of Rs 186.50 crore to government staff, after the implementation of 7th Pay Commission, including arrears of Modified Assured Career Progression (MACP), enhanced Travelling Allowance, House Rent Allowance (HRA) and Children Educational Allowances.

Raising the long-pending demand for Statehood, Rangasamy said the elected government was unable to exercise powers to create employment potential by inviting more industries here or create infrastructure facilities for tourism. Further, he said Puducherry must be treated on a par with other UTs and 100% funding of Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) be provided to Puducherry as it is unable to meet the State share for CSS.

Rangasamy also urged Modi to provide full powers to L-G (Administrator of the UT) to sanction contracts including those related to land leases to achieve promised development in industries and employment potential. He pointed out that the L-G enjoys delegated powers of only Rs 5,000 crore for sanctioning contracts.

The other demands by the CM included: special assistance of Rs 500 crore for developing health infrastructure, Rs 500 crore for cooperative organisations, Rs 150 crore for relaying urban and rural roads, funds of Rs 425 crore for land acquisition for expanding the Puducherry airport and Rs 300 crore for construction of a new Legislative Assembly complex.

The CM could not meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah as he was not present in Delhi, official sources said.


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