‘NDA will press for inclusion of U.T. under Finance Commission’

We are committed to the cause, Home Minister tells the Legislative Assembly

Home Minister A. Namassivayam on Monday assured the Legislative Assembly that the ruling National Democratic Alliance in Puducherry would strive for inclusion of the Union Territory under the ambit of the Finance Commission to get more funds.

Intervening during the discussion on the Budget, the Home Minister said the demand to include the Union Territory under the recommendations of the Finance Commission was decades old. “We are committed to the cause of getting Puducherry included under the Finance Commission recommendations. The government will take up with Centre the issue of including the Union Territory,” the Minister said.

He was prompted to intervene when DMK legislator Anibal Kennedy while speaking on the Budget cited that the Chief Minister did not mention anything about the Finance Commission or the demand for legacy loan waiver by the Centre.

Mr. Kennedy said the Chief Minister during the Assembly election campaign had spoken about the advantage of having the same alliance government in the Union Territory and the Centre. The DMK legislator said the Budget did not reflect any such advantage.

To the comments, Mr. Namassivayam said the government was able to get sanction from the Centre for presenting a Budget with the biggest outlay for the current year.

The Union Territory had sought nod for an outlay of ₹10,100 crore. The Centre gave sanction for presenting a Budget of ₹9,924 crore, he said.

“The Budget size is the biggest ever. Last financial year, even the amount spent was only around ₹8,000 crore. This year, the Centre had only reduced about ₹174 crore and that too the amount reduced was on the loan account side,” the Minister said.

Concurring, Minister for Public Works K. Lakshminarayanan said there would not be any difficulty in raising loan during the current financial year.

The government would be re-paying around ₹1,600 crore as principal and interest for the loans taken. So this would help the government balance the borrowing room ratio with that of Gross State Domestic Product. The government would not have any constraints in making further borrowing this financial year, he added.

Camps in constituencies

Minister for Civil Supplies A. K. Sai J. Saravana Kumar said the government was willing to hold special camps in all the constituencies for registering new ration cards and correcting discrepancies.

He was responding to AINRC legislator K.S.P. Ramesh’s comments during discussion on the Budget that people are finding it difficult to get new ration cards and make corrections in the existing cards.

On Independent legislator Angalane’s statement that some employees in Civil Supplies Department were involved in wrongdoings, the Minister said “if there are specific complaints people are free to approach investigating agencies or himself for an inquiry. Without having any credible information, people should not paint the staff in a bad manner. The efficiency of the department is well known,” he added.

Participating in the discussion, Independent legislator G. Nehru alias Kuppusamy said the government should take immediate steps to relocate the Bus Stand to avoid traffic congestion. He also wanted the government to take early steps to shift the Big Mark from inside the town.

BJP legislator P.M.L Kalyanasundaram urged the government to improve the facilities at Ozuvarasandi at Lawspet.

He also sought the government intervention to improve civic facilities in his Kalapet constituency.

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