TN Govt to Bear Cost of Govt School Students Who Get Admission in IIT, AIIMS
Tamil Nadu’s Finance Minister Palanivel Thiagarajan presented the first full-fledged budget of the DMK government.
Tamil Nadu government announced on Friday, 18 March, that it will bear the cost of undergraduate education for students who study in government schools from Classes 6 to 12, if they get admission into premier higher education institutions like like IIT, IISc, and AIIMS. It also plans to provide a monthly stipend of Rs 1,000 to all girl students, who studied from Class 6 to 12 in government schools, until the completion of their graduation or diploma.
Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan introduced these initiatives on Friday, 18 March, while presented the first full-fledged budget of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam-led government for the year 2022-23 in the Assembly Hall in Fort St. George.
The minister said that social safety net, data driven governance, environmental sustainability, and inter-generational equity were among the key focus areas of this year’s budget.
"Budget policies are formulated keeping Tamil ethos in concern," he added.
The main opposition party All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), led by Edappadi Palaniswami staged a walkout at the beginning of the session. Speaker M Appavu had urged them to stay stating that matters regarding raids at former minister SP Velumani's house and arrest of former fisheries minister D Jayakumar can be discussed after the budget speech.
State’s Fiscal Deficit Is Set to Decline to 3.80% From 4.33%
The finance minister announced that the revenue deficit which has been going up in an alarming trend since 2014 will be reversed this year. The revenue deficit is expected to be reduced by Rs 7,000 crore, that is, it will go down from 4.61 percent to 3.80 percent. Fiscal deficit has been brought down to 3.80% from 4.33% in budget estimates for 2021-22.
The budget also focussed on increasing opportunities for job creations for the youth by implementing special schemes in schools and colleges, attracting new investments and by encouraging entrepreneurs and eradicating poverty by inclusive growth.
He said Chief Minister MK Stalin has requested the Centre for extension of the GST compensation period, which ends in June 2022, by two years.
"The revenue growth which Tamil Nadu witnessed during the Value Added Tax (VAT) regime has not been achieved since the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Act. Moreover, the COVID pandemic has severely affected the finances of all states. At this juncture, the GST compensation period is coming to end on 30 June. Consequently, in the coming financial year, Tamil Nadu will face a revenue loss of approximately Rs 20,000 crore," the minister said.
The 'Perasiriyar Anbazhagan School Development Scheme' will be launched to modernise government schools (including Adi Dravidar, Tribal & Kallar Reclamation Schools) over the next five years to create new classrooms, hostels, laboratories and smart classrooms in the higher education sector at a total cost of Rs 1,000 crore.
Over Rs 250 crore allocated in the budget to upgrade government colleges.
School kits including textbooks and notebooks, which are being provided to students studying in government schools will be extended to students of Classes 1 to 10 in private unaided Tamil-medium schools, at an estimated cost of Rs15 crore.
To generate awareness about forests and wildlife among children, the Guindy Children's Park will be remodelled at an estimated cost of Rs 20 crore. A botanical garden at a cost of Rs 300 crore will be set up near Chennai in partnership with Kew Gardens of London.
District Central Libraries with modern infrastructure in the newly-created 6 districts will be set up at an estimated cost of Rs 36 crore. To make book reading a 'people's movement', book fairs will be organised in all the districts and the library buildings will be named after Tamil scholars, he said.
Rs 50 crores have been allocated for ‘Naan Mudhalvan’ scheme, the Chief Minister’s project for upgrading skills of students.
DMK Government Unveils Schemes in Memory of Three Tamil Men
More than Rs 7,000 crore has been set aside to promote projects in memory of three men who played key roles in shaping the state’s culture and history: the saint Vallalar, the reformer Periyar, and the educationist K Anbazhagan.
The teachings of the father of the Dravidian movement ‘Periyar’ EV Ramasamy will be translated and published in various languages, he said during the Budget session. The state government has allocated Rs 5 crore for this initiative. Earlier, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin had announced that the DMK government will observe 17 September, the birth anniversary of Periyar, as Social Justice Day as a tribute to the scholar.
In order to commemorate the 200th birth anniversary of a famous Tamil saint and poet Ramalinga Adigal, or Vallalar, the government will launch ‘Vallalar Palluyir Kappagangal’ scheme, that will help NGOs take care of abandoned animals.
K Anbazhagan was the second in command of the DMK party and a close confidante of the veteran leader Karunanidhi. The government plans to commemorate his birth anniversary by launching the ‘Perasiriyar Anbazhagan School Development Scheme’ to modernise government schools over the next five years.
Keeping up the Poll Promise
Reiterating the promise made by the DMK government to provide income to housewives, Rajan said that the government’s next major commitment is to grant basic income of Rs 1,000 per month for the women head of families. He stated that due to the financial position left by the previous regime, it was difficult to implement this scheme. He assured the beneficiaries will be identified soon and the scheme will be implemented.
Tamil Culture & Language
The budget saw a number of initiatives to promote Tamil language and culture. Over Rs 82.86 crore has been allocated to the Tamil Development Department in this Budget.
Rs 2 crore were allocated to form a committee of Tamil etymologists who will prepare an etymological dictionary, with a view to establishing the relationship between the Tamil language and the Indo-European language family.
The works for excavation in seven sites, archaeological exploration in two sites and for preliminary works in Korkai will be undertaken at a cost of Rs 5 crore.
New museums will be built in Villupuram and Ramanathapuram districts at an estimated cost of Rs 10 crore.
The tribal on-site museum at Courtallam in Tenkasi district, the pre-historic on-site museum at Poondi in Tiruvallur district and the Hero-Stone on-site museum in Dharmapuri district will also be upgraded at an estimated cost of Rs 10 crore.
Rs 50 crores have been allocated in the budget to preserve heritage public buildings in the state
On Ukraine-Russia Conflict
He also commented on the ongoing crisis between Russia-Ukraine and warned against the global supply disruptions to the state’s economy. PTR, as the minister is popularly known, said that all assistance would be provided to students who have had to discontinue their education in returning from war-torn Ukraine.
Industry & Investment
An iconic State Startup Hub Centre with all facilities will be established by the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO) at Nandambakkam, Chennai at an estimated cost of Rs 75 crore
A new policy will be released to strengthen leather and footwear industry in the state.
Rs 50 crore for emerging sector seed funds and an additional Rs 30 crore towards TANSIM (Tamil Nadu Start up and Innovation Mission) for promoting start-ups in Tamil Nadu.
A Tamil Nadu Coir Business Development Corporation will be set up in Coimbatore for developing the coir sector
To provide quality health care, the quality of government hospitals in Tamil Nadu will be further enhanced and a budget of Rs 1,019 crore has been allocated for this in the budget.
The government has planned to establish a Tamil Nadu Institute of Mental Health & Neuro Sciences, by upgrading the Institute of Mental Health (IMH), Kilpauk. A provision of Rs 40 crore has been made for the first phase of this project.
Other Initiatives to Boost Agriculture, Surveillance, Disaster Management
A separate organisation will be set up for climate change and green initiatives. Funds would be raised from aided institutions.
Special Social Media Monitoring Cells will be set up by the government within police department.
A sum of Rs 2,531 crore for the waiver of agricultural loans, a sum of Rs 1,000 crore for the waiver of jewel loans and a sum of Rs 600 crore for waiving self-help group loans, totalling an amount of Rs 4,131 crore.
The State government has allocated Rs 10 crore towards upgrading disaster early warning system in Chennai. This is to set up a network of automatic weather stations and rain gauges, weather radars and weather balloons.
The government announced allocation of Rs 25 crore towards a programme to develop world class athletes and Olympic medalists from Tamil Nadu.
Fire Department has been allocated Rs 496 crore in the Tamil Nadu budget.
Rs 500 crore is being allocated for flood mitigation projects in Chennai city.
The state will get 2,000 electric buses.
Over 149 Samathuvapurams, which have been neglected without maintenance for the last ten years, will be renovated in the first phase at a cost of Rs 190 crore.
Mobile information centres would be launched for migrant workers. In the first phase this will cover Kancheepuram, Tirupur and Tiruvallur.
Rs 4,816 crore allocated in the Budget for various social security pension schemes such as Old Age Pension, Destitute Widow Pension and Pension for Differently Abled.
The ‘Project Nilgiri Tahr’ has been announced to protect & conserve the ‘State Animal’ of Tamil Nadu.
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