Pongal gift hamper: TN Govt aims to reach 2.02 crore households

Edappadi K Palaniswami

Chennai: Ahead of the inauguration of special Pongal gift hamper scheme by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami at the Secretariat here later today, a circular has been sent to all District Collectors to make sure that there are no irregularities in its implementation and the benefits reached to all families across Tamilnadu.

Palaniswami is set to kickstart the scheme in the presence of Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, Ministers, senior officials and representatives from various cooperative societies.
While Rs 1000 cash will be given to 1.98 crore family card holders (except those in Tiruvarur due to the election code of conduct), gift hampers will be distributed to 2.02 crore families.

The scheme will be carried out at a cost of Rs 258 crore. A circular from Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection Department, Commissioner, S Madhumathi said strict action will be taken if there are any malpractices in distribution of the gifts.

A detailed description of the gift hamper and the measures to be taken during the distribution have been mentioned in the circular.

The beneficiaries will be given one kg rice, one kg sugar, 20 gram raisins, 20 gram cashew nut, five gram elaichi and two feet sugarcane along with Rs 1,000.
It also asked the people not to come to the shops at the same time, as the gift hampers will be given to everyone.

“The ration shops which have more than 1,000 cards will have to streamline the distribution streetwise and then the gift should be issued.”

Announcement regarding the Pongal gift hamper was made by Governor Banwarilal Purohit during the New Year address in the Tamilnadu Assembly on 2 January. The gift hampers will be given to all districts in the State except Tiruvarur district where the election code of conduct is in place in view of the 28 January by-poll.

The help of police should be sought to ensure the entire process happens smoothly, the circular added.  It further said to ensure transparency, the cash should be given as two Rs 500 notes without putting in cover.

The circular stated that a control room should be set up to receive any complaints regarding the distribution of the Pongal gift.

“The control room number should be displayed properly. A monitoring committee headed by Deputy Tahsildars should supervise the proceedings. If there are any discrepancies found in the distribution of the gift hampers, immediate action should be recommended,” the circular added.

Distribution of gifts will happen from 8.30 am to 12.30 pm and from 1.30 pm to 5.30 pm. The employees should ensure that all those standing in queue receive the gift hamper on the same day.

NT Bureau