Chennai: The Tamilnadu budget which was tabled today in the State Assembly by Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, also holding the finance portfolio, had announcements about many schemes of the government led by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami.
One of the major highlights was the launch of a comprehensive accident and life insurance scheme, covering all Below Poverty Line (BPL) families.
Panneerselvam said the scheme “will substantially increase the compensation to Rs 2 lakh and Rs 4 lakh for natural death and death due to accident respectively and Rs 1 lakh for permanent disability.”
He said a sum of Rs 250 crore has been provided for payment of premium under this scheme.
He said the revenue deficit for the year 2019-2020 is expected to come down to Rs 14,315 crore as against the projected revenue deficit of Rs 19,319 crore in the revised estimates 2018-19.
The budget had more bonanzas for the agriculture sector which included Chief Minister’s Scheme for Augmentation of Fruits and Vegetables 2019-2020 for which a sum of Rs 50 crore is earmarked.
Panneerselvam said 5,000 Integrated Farming System units will be assisted in 25 districts at an outlay of Rs 101.62 crore.
“A special agro export promotion cell in the Directorate of Agri business and Agri Marketing will be created. This centre will co-ordinate all export promotion activities like organic and other quality certification and disbursement of incentives to farmers and exporters,” he said.
He added that 2 lakh hectares are proposed to be covered under micro irrigation with an outlay of Rs 1,361 crore.
“This government is also extending 90 per cent assistance to farmers for installation of solar powered pumps. During 2019-2020, it is proposed to provide 2,000 solar powered pumps up to a capacity of 10 HP to farmers with a subsidy assistance of Rs 84.09 crore.”
He further said a sum of Rs 79.73 crore will be spent for government agricultural and horticultural colleges for further improving their infrastructure.
Panneerselvam said cloud burst and natural fire will also be included under localised calamities in addition to hail storm, landslide, inundation, etc. An allocation of Rs 621.59 crore has been provided in the budget for this.
NEW SEMEN STATION
He announced that a new frozen semen station with high pedigree country and cross bred bulls will be established at an estimated cost of Rs 100 crore.
For the benefit of the fishermen, Panneerselvam said, the government will distribute 240 units of Navic, 160 units of Isat-2 satellite phones and 160 units of Navtex instruments to 80 clusters of deep sea fishing boats.
CONSERVATION OF WATER BODIES
Panneerselvam said Rs 300 crore has been allocated for Kudimaramath scheme to rehabilitate irrigation tanks under the control of Public Works Department. Similar approach will be adopted for rehabilitation minor irrigation tanks of rural local bodies under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).
Works to the tune of Rs 1,558.87 crore will be taken up under various schemes including combined water supply schemes to cover 282 rural habitations in Aravakurichi and K Paramathy blocks of Karur district.
COLLEGE TO BE NAMED AFTER KALAM
Panneerselvam announced that a government arts and science college will come up at Rameswaram which will be named after former President A P J Abdul Kalam.
SOLAR POWER PROJECTS
The Deputy Chief Minister said TANGEDCO will be establishing floating solar power projects in the districts of Theni, Salem and Erode with a capacity of 250 MW at an estimated cost of Rs 1,125 crore.
ONE LAKH HOMES FOR GAJA VICTIMS
Panneerselvam said the government will take up construction of one lakh concrete houses with a unit cost of Rs 1.70 lakh, to replace damaged huts in districts affected by Gaja cyclone at a total cost of Rs 1,700 crore of which the Government of India is expected to share Rs 720 crore and the balance Rs 980 crore towards State share will be raised at debt through the Tamilnadu Rural Housing and Infrastructure Development Corporation.
FORMATION OF NEW SUB DIVISION
He added that a new sub-division will be created in 2019-2020 with headquarters at Thirumangalam in Madurai district which will encompass three taluks viz., Thirumangalam, Kallikudi and Thiruparankundram
Panneerselvam said 3,000 special wheel chairs and 3,000 retrofitted scooter will be distributed for differently-abled people.
Photo: A R Jayakumar