Puducherry CM presents budget amid protest, walk-out by opposition MLAs

Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy, who also holds the Finance portfolio, today presented a Rs 7,530 crore budget, which imposes no fresh taxes, in the Territorial Assembly, amidst protest and walk-out by the opposition MLAs.

In his 75-minute long address, Narayanasamy said of Rs 7530 crores which is the projected outlay of the budget the Union Territory’s own resources for the current fiscal is estimated at Rs 4570 crore while the Central assistance would be Rs 1476 crore.

He said the anticipated grants for the Centrally sponsored schemes was estimated at Rs 409 crore.

The remaining Rs 1,050 crore would be met from “open market borrowings and loans from the Central financial institutions.”

A major portion of the financial resources of Puducherry goes to meeting the committed expenditure of salaries, pension, loan and interest payments and purchase of power, he noted.

While Rs 1,800 crore has been allocated for disbursement of salaries out of the budget estimate, Rs 875 crore is earmarked for payment of pension and Rs 1380 crore for debt servicing (repayment of loan and payment of interest) and Rs 1200 crore for purchase of power,” he added.

The Chief Minister pointed out that during the previous financial year (2017-2108) the expenditure incurred was Rs 6757 crore marking 95 percent of the revenue target.

He recalled that after creating a separate public account of Puducherry with effect from December 2007, the Central government had dispensed with the grant of plan loans for the Union Territory.

The Puducherry government has been permitted to avail of the loan through open market borrowings and from Central financial institutions like HUDCO and NABARD for funding plan schemes.

Within minutes of Chief Minister commencing his budget speech, the opposition legislators belonging to the AINRC and AIADMK registered their protest against the government and staged a walkout.

Earlier, they alleged that none of the promises held out by the government in the last budget were fulfilled.

The House adjourned after Chief Minister presented the budget to meet tomorrow at 9.30 AM.

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