Puducherry gets Rs.17.5 bn as plan outlay

February 18th, 2008 - 11:19 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Feb 18 (IANS) The Planning commission Monday approved Rs.17.5 billion ($440 million) as the plan outlay for Puducherry for 2008-09. The annual outlay was finalised at a meeting between Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Puducherry Chief Minister N. Rangaswamy.

Speaking to reporters here after the meeting, Rangaswamy said the union territory wanted more investments from foreign and domestic investors to boost tourism and information technology sector.

According to him, the infrastructure facilities are being improved to attract foreign and domestic investments in key industrial sectors.

Puducherry, situated on the Coromandel Coast, about 160 km south of Chennai, was under French rule for 300 years. It is globally identified with the Aurobindo Ashram, which attracts hundreds of Indian and foreign devotees.

Appreciating the government’s initiatives for promoting tourism, the plan panel has offered non-lending technical assistance to prepare a master plan on tourism development in the union territory, and advised the government to rationalise subsidy and encourage rainwater harvesting.

Rangaswamy said his government would focus on accelerating social sector development during 11th Plan period.

“More funds will be spent on upgrading rural roads and drinking water supply,” he said.

“The improvement of basic amenities in slums will also get due attention during the plan period.” The other priority areas would be primary and secondary education infrastructure along with basic healthcare services and the public distribution system.

“The natural resource-based integrated farming system model with crop diversification and livestock integration will be promoted,” Rangaswamy said.

Planning Commission head Ahluwalia lauded the union territory government for the growth in manufacturing and service sectors.

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