PMK hopeful of obtaining Rs 2,000 crore annual plan outlay

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Puducherry, Feb 17 (UNI) PMK parliamentary party leader M Ramadass today expressed confidence that Puducherry Chief Minister N Rangasamy would strive to obtain Rs 2,000 crore for the annual plan outlay for the Union Territory for 2008-09.

In a letter to the Chief Minister, Prof Ramadass said Puducherry economy, which was achieving higher growth rate of about 10 per cent in the last few years should sustain the growth in future.

Sustaining the tempo of growth would call for investment in several sectors, including agriculture and education, which could only be accomplished with higher plan outlay, he pointed out.

He said the Chief Minister should convince the Planning Commission that unless the investment was provided to create the needed infrastructure, the Union Territory's development would be hampered thereby reducing the growth rate.

The PMK Chief said the Chief Minister should press for railway connectivity between Chennai and Cuddalore via Puducherry and the Karaikal-Salem project be insisted and obtain the state government's share of 50 per cent from the Planning Commission.

Prof Ramadass also suggested that the Planning Commission should be informed of the facts that the amount under the Special Component Plan (SCP) could be increased only if the general plan outlay was increased.

Additional funding was required for the devolution of powers to the local body representatives, to commence deep sea fishing, creation of IT parks and SEZs and to modernise the textile mills, he added.

If the arguments were convincingly placed before the Planning Commission when Mr Rangasamy attend the meeting, scheduled for tomorrow in New Delhi, Puducherry would get an outlay of Rs 2,000 crore, he said.

UNI PAB GKT SP PM1844

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