Puducherry

Sonia urged to press for Statehood to U.T.

K. Lakshminarayanan. File photo: S.S. Kumar

K. Lakshminarayanan. File photo: S.S. Kumar  

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Congress should also raise the issue of financial grants in Parliament, says Lakshminarayanan

K. Lakshminarayanan, parliamentary secretary to the Chief Minister, has appealed to Congress president Sonia Gandhi to spearhead an effort to rally all Opposition parties in their fight for Statehood to Puducherry.

In a letter to Ms. Gandhi, Mr. Lakshminarayanan urged her to raise the issue in Parliament. In addition to this, the party should also take up issue of bringing Puducherry under the purview of the 15th Finance Commission, especially in the wake of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh being brought under it. It had been a long-pending demand of the Union Territory. On the Statehood demand, Mr. Lakshminarayanan said the Legislative Assembly had passed unanimous resolutions for full Statehood as well as on bringing the U.T. under the Finance Commission’s purview.

‘Due share denied’

“Puducherry is not considered for its due share of revenue as assistance while the Finance Commission helps all other UTs. We are told that we are not included since Puducherry is a U.T. with a legislature while at the same time, we are not included in the Finance Commission for States either,” he said and pointed out that Puducherry faced dire financial crisis due to limited revenue sources and paucity of funds for implementing welfare schemes.

While the only source was financial assistance from the Centre, the government hardly got 26% of the budgetary allocation as Central grants.

Inclusion in the National Finance Commission would raise the share to 42% on a par with other States while if under the U.T., Finance Commission would raise the share to 70% of revenue, Mr. Lakshinarayanan said.

Making the case that Puducherry was unfairly excluded from both Finance Commissions (for States and UTs), Mr. Lakshminarayanan said the neglect by the Centre had caused suffering and anger among the people.

“I strongly feel that the Congress should fight for this issue more vigorously with the support of all other Opposition parties,” he added.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 11:51:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/sonia-urged-to-press-for-statehood-to-ut/article30145694.ece

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