On August 22, 2022, the Chief Minister (CM) of Puducherry, N. Rangasamy, who also holds finance portfolio of the Union Territory (UT) presented Rs 10,696.61crore tax-free budget of the UT for FY22-23 in his 75-minute address in the Legislative Assembly.
- It should be noted that the Budget session of the Puducherry Legislative Assembly began on August 10, 2022; however, the Assembly was adjourned indefinitely as the Union government did not approve the Budget at that time.
i.Revenue Receipts are estimated at Rs 6,557.23 crore
ii.Central Government assistance will be Rs 1,729.77 crore with an additional Rs 500 crore under centrally sponsored schemes and Rs 20 crore from the central road fund.
iii.The total outstanding debt of the UT is Rs 9,859.2 crore as on March 31, 2022.
iv.Expenditure: The allocation of expenditure is proposed to be Rs 8,675.65 crore under the Revenue head and Rs 2020.96 crore under the capital head.
- Out of the budget estimate of FY22-23, Rs 2,312.77 crore is allocated for salaries (21.62%), Rs 1,122.32 crore for pensions (10.49%) and Rs 2,311.61 crore for debt servicing (21.61%); i.e., payment of loan and payment of interest, and Rs 1,440.00 crore for power purchase (13.46%).
- Other major expenditure of the government includes old age pension and other welfare schemes of Rs 1,400 crore (13.09%), grant-in-aid to society-run higher educational institutions, Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), local bodies, cooperative institutions and others to the extent of Rs 1,333.19 crore (12.46%).
v.The expenditure incurred during the FY21-22 was Rs 9,793.29 crore, which is 94.04% of the revised estimate.
Key Highlights from Budget:
i.The Union government has granted permission to the UT to borrow Rs 1,889.61 crore from the open market to bridge the fiscal deficit.
ii.To celebrate the 75th anniversary of India’s independence, the UT administration has decided to provide free house pattas to 260 tyagis (freedom fighters).
iii.Sports Youth Welfare Department along with Education Department will be started as a separate department.
iv.Free of cost laptops for students of standards XI and XII in government and aided schools.
- It was also proposed to re-implement the free bicycle scheme for students studying in grade 9 in government and government-aided schools.
v.National Law University (NLU) to be started in Puducherry.
vi.Under the MLA (Member of the Legislative Assembly) Local Area Development Scheme it was proposed to grant Rs 2 crore to each member of the Assembly to undertake basic infrastructure work during FY23.
vii.Steps are being taken to start ferry service between Karaikal port and Kankesanthuri port in Sri Lanka in 2022.
viii.All posts of lower and upper division clerks and all vacant posts in government departments would be filled before the end of FY23.
ix.Rs 1,596 crore has been earmarked for the power sector.
x.Documentary assets of all temples in Puducherry will be digitized and preserved.
xi.Under Smart City Mission, various development works are being taken up for which estimate amounting 1,828 crore rupees has been obtained.
Recent Related News:
i.Rajeev Verma, a 1992 batch IAS officer of the AGMUT cadre currently posted in Arunachal Pradesh, has been appointed as the Chief Secretary of Puducherry.
ii.In April 2022, The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) unit Karaikal inducted Interceptor Boat (IB) ‘ ICGS C-436’, into its fleet to improve surveillance along the coastline of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
Lieutenant Governor– Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan
Airport– Puducherry Airport (PNY)