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regular-article-logo Monday, 15 July 2024

Tamil Nadu: Cash for women heads of families

The guidelines outlining the eligibility criteria for women heads of families would be released soon

M.R. Venkatesh Chennai Published 21.03.23, 03:11 AM
Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin

Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin File picture

Tamil Nadu’s DMK government will from the coming financial year give women heads of families a monthly allowance of Rs 1,000, fulfilling an election promise.

Presenting the state budget for 2023-24, finance minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan said Rs 7,000 had been allocated for the monthly cash entitlement scheme, Magalir Urimai Thogai, which he said would benefit families hit by the rise in prices, particularly those of cooking gas.

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He said the Chief Minister’s Breakfast Scheme, launched last year for students of Classes I to V at government primary schools, would be expanded to cover all the 30,122 such schools in the state from the coming academic year. It will benefit 18 lakh students.

Thiaga Rajan said the scheme currently covers 1,937 government primary schools, benefiting 148,315 students. The scheme has already increased attendance at 1,319 schools, he added.

Chief minister M.K. Stalin will launch the cash scheme for women heads of families on September 15, birth anniversary of DMK founder C.N. Annadurai, coinciding with late DMK leader and former chief minister M. Karunanidhi’s approaching centenary.

Thiaga Rajan said the guidelines outlining the eligibility criteria for women heads of families would be released soon.

A debate has begun among political parties on the eligibility norms. Tamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi MLA Velmurugan, a DMK ally, said all women heads of families that are poor or belong to weaker sections should be eligible, while those owning vehicles or paying income tax should be left out.

Opposition AIADMK leader and former chief minister E.K. Palaniswami said all women family heads should be covered. Stalin’s government already provides Rs 1,000 a month to every girl student from Class VI to XII at government schools, and free bus rides to women in government buses.

Thiaga Rajan said the government was planning Metro Rail projects for Coimbatore and Madurai at an estimated cost of Rs 9,000 crore and Rs 8,500 crore, respectively, and would set up a Rs 800-crore textile park in Salem. It plans a global investors’ meeting in Chennai next January.

Thiaga Rajan said the administration had taken “swift and stringent action” to thwart the recent attempts to create panic among migrant workers from the northern states through the circulation of fake videos on social media.

He said 11 criminal cases had been filed and that teams of district and police officials “personally visited” 4 lakh workers to assuage any fears.

Multiple confidence-building measures had been taken with the support of the governments of Bihar and Jharkhand to assure the workers about their safety, Thiaga Rajan added.

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