Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi today stressed the need for austerity measures to reduce the debt burden of the territorial government. Presenting her customary address on the opening day of the Union Territory Assembly here, she\u00a0said, "Puducherry is now facing financial constraints due to servicing of the past debt.. There is an urgent need to reduce our debt burden." She expressed hope that the members would certainly appreciate the need for austerity measures. The former IPS officer said the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) of the Union Territory had been estimated at Rs 30,845.43 crores (current price) for 2017-2018 which is 11.82 percent higher than the previous year figure of Rs 27,586.09 crores. Bedi also noted that the per capita income of Puducherry increased from Rs 1,73,687 for the year 2016-2017 to Rs 1,89,124 for the year 2017-2018 showing a growth rate of 8.89 percent. "The growth in GSDP augurs well for the Union Territory's\u00a0economy," she said. Highlighting the achievements and implementation of various developmental schemes by the government departments during 2017-2018, Bedi pointed out that the PIPDIC had approved 121 projects and allotted 183 acres of land, 17 industrial sheds and seven plots with investment proposal of Rs 620 crores to create employment for 2440 persons. Bedi said the Centre had sanctioned Rs 66 crores under Heritage Circuit and Rs 41 crores under Spiritual Circuit for Puducherry during the current fiscal (2017-2018) through the Swadesh Dharshan scheme. There was a growth of 9.5 percent in tourist arrivals in 2017 in Puducherry over the previous year. Earlier, four MLAs belonging to opposition AIADMK staged a dharna on the floor of the House for a few minutes in protest against the "failure" of the Congress government to implement welfare schemes and to address the woes of the farmers of Karaikal region. Later, they walked out of the House. AINRC MLAs also followed suit condemning the government's "failure" to bring new schemes and maintain "cordial relations" with the NDA government at the Centre. Leader of the Opposition N Rangasamy who led the walk out after Bedi's address, told the House that the Puducherry Chief Minister should ensure that the government brings in schemes to ameliorate the lot of the poor and the farmers. The House then adjourned sine die after adopting the Vote on Account Bill earmarking Rs 2,466.66 crores to the government to meet the expenditure during the first four months from April of the fiscal 2018-2019.