Puducherry Chief Minister N Rangasamy informed the eighth Governing Council meeting of NITI Aayog on Saturday that his government would establish an IT park in the Union Territory to generate job opportunities for the youth.
Keeping in view the national strategies and the vision of 'Viksit Bharat' (developed India) 2047, the Puducherry government has framed a vision document for raising the GSDP of the Union Territory to USD 50 million by 2047.
In his speech at the meeting in New Delhi, Rangasamy said that through development of Karasur industrial estate, it is expected that around Rs 5,000 crore would be invested through private investment over a period of five years and around 10,000 people would be benefitted either directly or indirectly.
The Chief Minister said it is a challenging task for the line departments to ascertain whether welfare measures of the government reach intended beneficiaries without pilferage.
To overcome this arduous task, a centralised database called 'Unified Data Hub' has been developed that would be combined with the 'Aadhaar Data Vault' with features of common online validation, de-duplication and cross referencing of data helping in quicker service delivery besides plugging leakages in the system.
He told the meeting that the Puducherry administration had requested the Tamil Nadu government to provide 395 acres of land to expand the Puducherry airport. "We have emphasised that the expansion of the airport in Puducherry would not only increase the number of tourists visiting Puducherry for both spiritual and medical tourist but would also facilitate the industrial improvement and development in and around the adjoining districts of Tamil Nadu."
Rangasamy said spiritual tourism is now becoming widespread and occupies an important segment of international tourist arrivals. At present, the UT sees 19 lakh tourists coming in annually including 1.5 lakh foreigners with eight per cent of average growth rate every year.
Regarding women empowerment, the Chief Minister referred to grant of monthly financial assistance of Rs 1,000 to women who are heads of families living below poverty line between the age group of 21 to 55 years rolled out from January this year.
Rangasamy said the government is encouraging registration of properties in the name of women and a 50 per cent concession in stamp duty is also provided. He pointed out that the UT administration has constantly been requesting the Government of India to include in the terms of reference of the Finance Commission by suitably amending Article 280(3) of the Constitution as regards the word 'State'. A special reference may be made to the Finance Commission to include the Union Territory of Puducherry with legislature.
He pleaded for the Union Territory of Puducherry to be included in the proposed 16th Finance Commission. Rangasamy also urged the Centre to bring Puducherry into the 'Financial Assistance to States for Capital Investment' category. "We have been constantly submitting the plea to the Union Home and Finance Ministries for grant of special central assistance with a total project cost of Rs 2,328 crore to create five major capital infrastructure facilities in Puducherry," he said.
The Chief Minister also drew the attention of the meeting to the dilemma the government is facing in the fund allocation for the centrally sponsored schemes (CSS). "The dilemma arises with Puducherry neither being treated as a full-fledged State nor as a Union Territory. Puducherry is not included under the ambit of Finance Commission recommendation as it does not fall under the definition of 'State'. He requested the Centre to restore funding pattern for CSS to 100 per cent for the Union Territtory of Puducherry to ease the financial burden.