Pondy well off, no financial crunch: CM

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Puducherry, Feb 29 (UNI) Dismissing rumours of a 'financial crunch' as 'untrue', Puducherry Chief Minister N Rangasamy said ''there is no financial crisis in the Union Territory.'' Distributing the first instalment of Rs 40,000 under the Perum Thalaivar Kamaraj Housing Scheme to 165 persons of Ariyankuppam constituency here last evening, he said cancellation of free rice scheme had created an impression of 'financial crisis'.

He said the rice scheme was stopped for a brief period with the supplier seeking a higher price. There is no financial crunch.

However, 30 kg of rice for the three months, was already supplied and the rice for January and February would be supplied in a couple of days. Listing out several schemes implemented by the government, Mr Rangasamy said some schemes could not be implimented due to pending of files.

About the housing scheme he said, the amount was enhanced to Rs one lakh, following demand from MLAs in this regard. The number of houses to be constructed was raised from 7500 a year to 10,000.

Stating that a survey had put the number of huts in Puducherry as 55,000, Mr Rangasamy said the Union Territory would be 'hut-free' in five to six years. Rs 51 crore had been allocated for the Slum Cleareance Board.

''A whopping 57 per cent of the funds are being utilised for welfare schemes. The revenue has increased and the territory was granted power to obtain loan from open market at a low interest rate,'' he added.

UNI PAB RL AS1612

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