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Puducherry CM tables Rs 9,924-crore Budget, says government will work towards 100% literacy

Rs 2,140 crore has been allotted for salaries, Rs 1,050 for pensions Rs 1,715 crore for debt servicing and Rs 1,591 crore for power purchase.

By: Express News Service | Puducherry |
August 26, 2021 9:17:39 pm
Budget Session of the Puducherry Assembly began on Thursday. (Twitter/@BJP4Puducherry)

Puducherry Chief Minister N Rangasamy, who holds the finance portfolio, Thursday presented the Budget for the fiscal 2021-22. Rangasamy said the Budget size for the year 2021-22 has been fixed at Rs 9,924.41 crore and the Union Territory’s own revenue receipts have been estimated at Rs 6,190 crore.

Earlier in the day, delivering her customary address, Lieutenant Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan said the territorial government is making all efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19 and has largely succeeded. Soundararajan said she wanted to reiterate that the people of the union territory had voted for the government with high expectations and hoped that all the members of the house under the able guidance of the Chief Minister would work hard to fulfil their expectations.

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The NDA-alliance led by All India NR Congress leader Rangasamy presented its first budget at the 15th assembly session at 4:30pm in the assembly hall. The Chief Minister said all the promises made during the election would be fulfilled.

He said cash assistance of Rs 3,000 to all family ration cardholders have been disbursed in two instalments.

The allocation under the centrally-sponsored scheme is estimated to be Rs 320.23 crore. Rangasamy said the Centre has approved borrowings to the extent of Rs 1,684.41 crore to overcome the fiscal deficit.

The total outstanding debt of the union territory as of March 31, 2021 is Rs 9,334.78 crore. The average growth rate of GSDP of Puducherry is around 10% as against the average national growth of 7% to 8%.

“The expenditure incurred during the last financial year 2020-21 was Rs 8,342.87 crore which works out to 92.70% of the Revised Estimate. Due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and receipt of funds under some schemes from the Centre at the end of the financial year, the expenditure under CSS was 64.13%. The unutilised amount under CSS will be carried over to this financial year for booking expenditure under respective schemes,” Rangasamy said.

In the Budget, Rs 2,140 crore has been allotted for salaries, Rs 1,050 for pensions Rs 1,715 crore for debt servicing and Rs 1,591 crore for power purchase. The government said the other major expenditure includes Old Age Pension and other welfare schemes to the tune of Rs 1,290 crore.

Public Sector Undertakings, local bodies, co-operative institutions and others have been allocated Rs 1,243 crore.

Rs 742 crore has been allotted for the education department. The Chief Minister said his government will work hard to achieve the 100% literacy rate status and said steps would be taken to eradicate illiteracy and reduce dropouts in schools. Five schools to be upgraded as modern schools. Rs 296.62 crore has been allotted for Higher Education.

The government earmarked Rs 40 crore under Perunthalaivar Kamarajar Financial Assistance Scheme in B.E. 2021-22 and 9,214 students are expected to be benefitted through this scheme

A DPR for the establishment of a National School of Planning and Architecture in Puducherry Union Territory at an estimated cost of Rs 334.30 crore has been submitted to the Ministry of Human Resources Development for approval.

A sum of Rs 124.47 crore has been allocated for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Department. The AINRC leader said Rs 5,000 per acre subsidy would be provided to all paddy-growing farmers.

A mobile app will be launched through which farmers would be able to register themselves for financial assistance.

The government has proposed to prepare a DPR for establishing a zoological park in Puducherry on a 70-100 acre area.

Rs 44.88 crore allocated for Animal Husbandry Department. In order to enhance milk production, a scheme of providing cattle feed at 75% subsidy to the non-members of milk co-operative societies will be implemented this year. The government is also keen on making Puducherry self-sufficient in milk production. They are expecting an increase in the production from 1,22,000 litre to 1,75,600 litre approximately.

Rs 197.50 allotted for Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs.

Rs 5 lakh to be provided as immediate relief for legal heirs of deceased fishers in the event of death during fishing activities.

Rs 797.88 crore has been allotted for Health and Family Welfare. A 500-bedded hospital for various epidemic infectious diseases will be constructed at Gorimedu. An additional sum of Rs 25 crore has been allotted for handling Covid-19.

Construction of AYUSH hospitals at Villianur and Yanam to be completed soon.

Rs 2.76 will be disbursed for temples to undertake repair/renovation works. An industrial investors’ conference will be held on and September 23 and 24 in order to attract investments in Puducherry.

Historic ‘Calve College’, a symbol of French Culture, will be renovated at a cost of Rs 4.39 crore without changing its traditional architectural design.

Rs 303.85 crore has been allotted for the police department.

New water supply works in the Puducherry region and Karaikal region will be set up at an estimated cost of Rs 38.42 crore and Rs 14.50 crore, respectively. The projects will be taken up this year.

As many as 13 major works at a cost of Rs 133.51 crore will be taken up under the Roads and Bridges sector. Rs 25.85 crore was allotted for Puducherry Road Transport Corporation. A Vehicle Tracking Monitoring Centre will be set up in the Transport Department Office at an estimated cost of Rs 4.6 crore under the Nirbhaya Framework for Safety and Security of women this year.

For Adi Dravidar and Scheduled Tribes Welfare, a sum of Rs 165.44 crore has been allotted. The educational assistance scheme for SC / ST for providing free education right from the 1st standard to the college level will be implemented from this year. Education loan availed through Puducherry Adi Dravidar Development Corporation (PADCO) to be waived.

Rs 562.80 crore has been allotted for woman and child development.

VAT on petrol in Puducherry and Karaikal regions to be immediately reduced by 3%. This should reduce the price by Rs 2.43 per litre.

Crop loans availed by farmers through co-operative banks and those that are in arrears will be waived.

Prior to the budget session, P Rajavelu, who represents the Nettapakkam constituency, was elected unopposed as the deputy speaker.

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