Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy Presents Rs 6,945-Crore Tax-Free Budget

Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy's tax-free budget of Rs 6,945 crore for fiscal 2018 was boycotted by the opposition AINRC and AIADMK legislators.

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Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy Presents Rs 6,945-Crore Tax-Free Budget

Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy wants from funds from central government. (File)

Puducherry:  Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy today presented a Rs 6,945-crore tax-free budget for the Union Territory for fiscal 2018 amid a boycott by the opposition AINRC and AIADMK legislators. Presenting the budget in the territorial assembly, Mr Narayanasamy said the total budget outlay projected is Rs 6,945 crore, comprising Rs 4,445 crore for non-plan head and Rs 2,500 crore under plan. 

The contribution from the Puducherry government's own resources "is estimated at Rs 4,022 crore and central assistance of Rs 1,411 crore." Mr Narayanasamy said the anticipated grants from the central government the centrally-sponsored schemes (CSS) including the Central Road Fund (CRF) had been estimated at Rs 361 crore and the balance of Rs 1,151 crore would be met through open-market borrowing and also from other financial institutions.

Mr Narayanasamy said out of the total budget outlay, around 60 per cent would be allocated toward committed expenditure comprising Rs 1,650.40 crore for payment of salaries, Rs 663.27 crore for pension, Rs 1,112.88 crore for debt services (payment of interest and repayment of loan) and Rs 1,012.19 crore for purchase of electricity.

Mr Narayanasamy said that during the previous fiscal (2016-2017), the government had incurred Rs 6,144 crore expenditure as against the revised estimate of Rs 6,550 crore, "which is the highest ever spending in the history of the Union Territory of Puducherry."

"Despite financial hardship, my government has implemented the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission for payment of salaries and pension to government servants," Mr Narayanasamy said.

He said that "despite my government's best efforts the central government is yet to release the additional grant toward non-plan gap grant and for implementation of the Central Pay Commission recommendation."

He said that fiscal 2017 was "not a financially favourable year for revenue mobilisation because of impact of demonetisation and various judicial pronouncements related to excise and registration matters."

Mr Narayanasamy said that despite non-receipt of additional grant sought from the central government, "the government has taken steps to manage the state's finances satisfactorily." He also pointed out that during the current year the Puducherry government "has to pay an additional amount of Rs 347 crore toward repayment of loans availed in the year 2007-2008."

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Highlighting the various proposals sector-wise, he said that it had been planned to strengthen the irrigation infrastructure under the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY) through PWD at Rs 972.92 crore in Puducherry, Rs 1,195.57 crore in Karaikal, Rs 85.66 crore in Yanam and Rs 23.16 crore in Mahe.

Mr Narayanasamy said the Puducherry government had taken all "effective steps for smooth rollout of goods and services tax and the house had already passed unanimously the GST
Bill, 2017." He also announced that there was a proposal to introduce a health insurance scheme for journalists, apart from provision of housing sites to reporters who were not already provided under the "free house site" scheme.

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