In a surprise announcement, Puducherry Chief Minister N Rangasamy told the legislative assembly on Wednesday that the union territory had been granted full statehood. Rangasamy made the announcement during a debate on the fiscal 2021-22 budget when the CM said that the Centre has decided to concede the demand for statehood to Puducherry. The CM, however, did not elucidate further on the matter.
Noting that "statehood is absolutely necessary for Puducherry," the CM said that several hardships had been experienced without statehood status for Puducherry.
He also announced that monthly assistance given to freedom fighters under a state government scheme as pension for the freedom fighters would be raised to Rs 10,000 from the present Rs 9000.
Rangasamy said his government had decided to exempt students selected through the Centralised Admission Committee (CENTAC) for medical and engineering students from paying tuition fees. The government would bear the expenditure.
The legislation would get Rs 2 crores under Local Area Development scheme instead of Rs 1 crore disbursed so far.
He also announced that monthly assistance given to aged press persons would be hiked to Rs 8000 from present Rs 7500.
The internship allowance to the medical graduates would be raised from present Rs 5000 to Rs 20,000.
Rangasamy further said he has requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to sanction central grants to the Puducherry budget under 90:10 ratio, with Centre's contribution at 90 percent of the total requirements and the territorial government`s share being 10 percent. Presently, the ratio was 60: 40.
He said loans borrowed from the Backward Welfare corporation by the students belonging to the Backward Class for their educational pursuits would be waived.
All vacancies in different posts of jobs in government would be filled and police personnel would be recruited soon.
Earlier, during the debate members belonging to both the treasury and opposition blocks wanted the government to tone up education in the Union Territory.
(With inputs from PTI)