Pongal gift: Token distribution begins at ration shops across TN

Chennai: Fair price shop workers today started distributing tokens for the Pongal cash and gift hamper announced by the State government.

Tokens will be distributed to card holders till 30 December.

Sources said that tokens would be distributed in such a manner that not more than 200 ration cards can collect the gift hamper on a particular day.

Civil Supplies Department, Commissioner R Chavan said that among the 200 ration cards, 100 will be distributed in the morning and 100 in the evening.

Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami inaugurated the Pongal gift hamper scheme on 21 December.

A Government Order said that Rs 5604.84 crore has been alloted for the scheme.
The gift hamper will comprise of Rs 2,500 as cash, one kg rice, one kg sugar, one full sugarcane, 20 grams cashewnut, 20 grams raisins and five grams elaichi.

Palaniswami on 19 December announced that the free special Pongal package along with a cash incentive of Rs 2,500 will be distributed to all the ration card holders in the State from 4 January to enable them to celebrate the harvest festival in January next year.

The distribution of the cash and kit would commence on 4 January. The announcement was made at an event after he started his poll campaign in his native Edappadi constituency in Salem district.

Recalling the government’s recent announcement allowing the cardholders to switch the rice cards from sugar cards, he said this would benefit 2.6 crore rice cardholders in the State.

Palaniswami said that he had announced the gift as several people had suffered economic distress this year due to Covid and the cyclone in the Delta region.