Puducherry: Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy on Sunday urged the Centre to ensure the Union Territory is granted "statehood with special status."
Participating in the fourth governing council meeting of the NITI Aayog in Delhi, the Chief Minister placed before the Council "some of the important and long-pending issues of the Union Territory of Puducherry", which required special attention and immediate resolution by the Aayog and the Centre.
A copy of his address at the meeting was released to the media by his office here.
After highlighting the performance of the Puducherry government in various sectors, including agriculture and health, the Chief Minister appealed for grant of statehood with special status for the union territory.
He also reiterated the demand that Puducherry be brought under the ambit of the Central Finance Commission "for devolution of funds similar to other States."
Making out a case for "at least ten per cent hike every year in the Central grants to Puducherry," the Chief Minister stressed the funding pattern for all centrally-sponsored schemes in the union territory be in the ratio of 90:10 in place of the 60:40 adopted now.
The territorial government should also be permitted to go in for market borrowing, he said.
Narayanasamy also sought special package for industrial development of Puducherry, disposal of land belonging to government-owned AFT mills to clear statutory dues of the workers and banks and development and expansion of the sea port and the airport here.
He said "federal polity of our country demands the active participation of states in development process.
Factoring the rich and varied experiences of states will pave the way for better policy implementation and equitable growth of the country."
During the last five years (up to May this year), the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) had been implemented in Puducherry with an investment of Rs 42.66 crore and 22.3 lakh man-days were generated.