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Puducherry govt. to pay fees for Centac-sponsored students

It will also increase freedom fighters’ pension, says Chief Minister Rangasamy

The government has decided to pay the fees for students sponsored by the Centralised Admission Committee (Centac) for professional courses in the Union Territory, Chief Minister N. Rangasamy informed the Assembly on Wednesday.

He made the announcement while winding up the debate on the annual Budget in the Assembly.

The Chief Minister also said the government had decided to increase freedom fighters’ pension from ₹9,000 to ₹10,000. The amount given for the funeral expenses of the Adi Dravidar community had been increased from ₹5,000 to ₹25,000. The financial assistance given to lactating mothers was enhanced from ₹18,000 to ₹25,000. The government has decided to conduct free coaching classes for IAS aspirants at the Kamaraj Manipandam after its inauguration.

The stipend given to final year medical students had been increased from ₹5,000 to ₹20,000. The salary of voucher paid employees at the Public Works Department had been increased from ₹3,000 to ₹10,000. The salary would be paid through the treasury. The government would also regularise anganwadi staff now working on contract basis, he added

Statehood issue

Expressing confidence in obtaining Statehood for the Union Territory, the Chief Minister said, “The Centre is also thinking on those lines. I have already taken up the issue with Prime Minister and during my trip to New Delhi, I will again apprise him on the need for Statehood.”

Responding to Opposition leader R. Siva’s statement that the Budget speech did not mention about the demand for Statehood, the Chief Minister said, “There is no change in my stand. Our party was even formed with the idea to obtain Statehood. I am confident of getting it.”

Mr. Siva said the effort of the government must be to raise resources so that government need not entirely depend on Central assistance to implement welfare and development works.

The government should promote industrial and tourism activities for revenue generation and to create employment opportunity.

“The single window system for giving permission to start industries is only in name. People interested in setting up industries have to run from one department to other and then wait endlessly,” he said.

He also wanted to revive efforts to set up the port in Puducherry.

“The government should not entertain the misgivings of a lobby which is working against the Puducherry port,” he added.

Mr. Siva also urged the government to revive the textile mills and the defunct cooperative units. PASIC and PAPSCO used to run 5 petrol pumps and 33 bars. Now, most of them were either running on loss or closed, he added.

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