Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy, holding finance portfolio, presented a Rs 8425-crore tax-free budget for 2019-20, in the territorial assembly here on Wednesday.
Presenting the budget, the Chief Minister said Rs 5435 crore -- 65 per cent of the budget -- is from state’s own resource and Rs 1890 crore -- 22 per cent -- will be central assistance. The balance Rs 1100 crore -- 13 per cent -- will be mobilised through open market borrowing.
Narayanasamy announced that the MLAs area development fund would be enhanced from Rs 1 crore to Rs 2 crore and an upward revision in the payment of old age pension to 8470 fishermen family in accordance with their age. The financial assistance on fishing ban period would be enhanced to Rs 6500 from Rs 5500 and the relief during rainy season from Rs 2500 to Rs 3000.
He also said that a legislation would be enacted this year to secure 50 per cent UG and PG seats from the private medical colleges here as the government quota.
The Chief Minister recalled his insistence in the NITI AYOG meeting on June 15 this year that statehood be granted to Puducherry, waiver of legacy loan, inclusion of Puducherry in the central finance commission among other things.
He said a financial subsidy of Rs 10,000 per acre (Rs 5000 in Kuruvai /Sornavari season) and Rs 5000 in (Samba /Thalady) season would be provided to paddy cultivators from this year which is double the amount provided earlier.
For this the exchequer will incur and additional expenditure of Rs 16.15 crore, he added. Similar subsidy of Rs 10,000 would be provided to sugar cane and cotton cultivators which will cause an additional expenditure of Rs 4.18 crore to the exchequer.
The Chief Minister also announced subsidies to the farmers cultivating other crops. The administration proposes to appoint Agricultural Correspondent to enable farmers to get agricultural and “MUDRA’ loan from banks with ease, he added.
Narayanasamy said that the Civil Supplies Department would set up a special online portal to enable the ration card holders in urban and rural Puducherry to fulfil their needs pertaining to ration cards.
He also said that 10kg of free rice would be provided to yellow ration card holders instead of the cash remitted in their bank accounts adding that the red colour ration card holders will get 20 kg rice as usual.
Narayanasamy said the administration proposes to implement the noon-meal scheme for school children along with a voluntary organisation ‘’Akshaya Patra’’ from the end of 2019-20 academic year under which about 50,000 students would be benefited.