CHENNAI: Three days after Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam presented the Budget without many populist schemes, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Monday announced a “special financial assistance” of Rs 2,000 to 60 lakh families in the State who live below the poverty line.
Announcing the dole in the State Assembly, the Chief Minister said the money was being given on the grounds that poor people in several districts have been affected by Cyclone Gaja and drought-like situation following the failure of monsoon.
The measure would cost the State exchequer Rs 1,200 crore and the money would be allocated in the supplementary estimates for the year 2018-19. In all, 35 lakh BPL families in rural areas and 25 lakh BPL families in urban areas will benefit from this assistance.
PMK founder S Ramadoss was quick to welcome the financial assistance announcement by Palaniswami. PMK is reportedly in talks with AIADMK over forming an alliance for the Lok Sabha polls.
“This is a timely help extended to poor people affected by Cyclone Gaja and drought. This should be made into a permanent monthly assistance for poor workers,” Ramadoss said in a statement.Earlier, on the ocassion of Pongal festival, the State government gave Rs 1,000 “cash assistance” to every ration card holder in the State.
Who are all eligible?
Making the announcement during the Zero Hour, the CM said the assistance would reach agricultural labourers, workers in firecracker units, handloom and powerloom sectors, tree climbers, sanitary workers, salt pan workers and fishermen among others