TN Budget 2024: Govt blows poll bugle, courts youth and marginalised

Eight lakh concrete houses for people residing in huts under Kalaignarin Kanavu Illam, a comprehensive poverty alleviation programme, extension of Rs 1,000 monthly aid, and more.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin with Finance Minister Thangam Thennarasu ahead of presentation of the State Budget 2024-25 in the Assembly, in Chennai, Monday, Feb. 19, 2024.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin with Finance Minister Thangam Thennarasu ahead of presentation of the State Budget 2024-25 in the Assembly, in Chennai, Monday, Feb. 19, 2024.(PTI Photo)

CHENNAI: With the Lok Sabha polls round the corner, Finance Minister Thangam Thennarasu on Monday presented a please-all budget to “achieve the seven grand Tamil dreams of the CM” by rolling out new schemes and extending old ones.

The seven focal points are - Social Justice, Welfare of the marginalized, Transforming young Tamils as global achievers, Knowledge based economy, Equality focused on welfare of women, Sustainable Green Future and Tamil Language and Culture.

The new schemes include eight lakh concrete houses for people residing in huts under Kalaignarin Kanavu Illam, a comprehensive poverty alleviation programme named Chief Minister’s Thayumanavar Scheme, extension of Rs 1,000 monthly aid, currently being given to girl students of government schools, to boys, and payroll subsidy schemes to increase employment of women and build a knowledge based economy, among others.

The following are the new schemes and allocation made for them in the budget:

The finance minister said in the recent survey conducted by this Government for replacing huts with safe and permanent concrete houses in rural areas of Tamil Nadu, it has been found that approximately eight lakh huts continue to exist. Hence, to create a 'Hut-Free Tamil Nadu' by 2030, eight lakh concrete houses will be constructed in rural areas. In the first phase, one lakh new houses will be built at a unit cost of Rs.3.50 lakh per house in the coming year.

The Minister said the selected beneficiaries will be provided with house sites in case they are landless and will be provided with funds for constructing the house directly into their bank accounts. With a scientific survey and transparent selection process, a new scheme, 'Kalaignarin Kanavu Illam', will be implemented in the coming year at a cost of Rs.3,500 crore, providing an opportunity for the poor to build their dream homes.

In the coming year, 2,000 new overhead tanks will be constructed in rural local bodies, at a cost of Rs.365 crore, replacing the old structures. Various development works including upgradation of roads will be carried out in these areas, at an estimated cost of Rs.300 crore, in the coming year.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin with Finance Minister Thangam Thennarasu ahead of presentation of the State Budget 2024-25 in the Assembly, in Chennai, Monday, Feb. 19, 2024.
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A major project, aimed at restoring 5,000 water bodies, will be implemented through community participation under the guidance of leading scientific institutions, at an estimated cost of Rs.500 crore.

Thennarasu said in the next two years, this Government will launch the final assault on poverty, rescuing around five lakh of the poorest families from poverty by providing all the necessary Government assistance in an integrated manner.

Under this scheme, most vulnerable sections of the society including the destitutes, elderly persons living alone, single-parent families, orphaned children, mentally challenged, differently-abled persons, and families with children requiring special assistance will be identified.

In addition to fulfilling their basic needs, the requirements of education, employment opportunities, skill development and housing will be met under this scheme. The identification of the poorest of the poor families will be carried out through convergence of official databases, field inspections, community participation, and Gram Sabha sessions. The participation of elected representatives, charitable organizations, and banks will be ensured in this grand initiative namely, "Chief Minister‟s Thayumanavar scheme‟.

In the coming year, 4,457 km length of urban roads will be upgraded at a cost of Rs.2,500 crore through convergence of various schemes.

To ensure balanced and equitable development across the city, "Vada Chennai Valarchi Thittam‟, a new initiative is being implemented by this Government. Under this scheme,development works to the tune of Rs.1,000 crore will be undertaken.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin with Finance Minister Thangam Thennarasu ahead of presentation of the State Budget 2024-25 in the Assembly, in Chennai, Monday, Feb. 19, 2024.
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A New "Urban Greening Project‟ will be implemented with active involvement of Green Tamil Nadu Mission, Non-Governmental Organizations and through community participation.

Rs.13,720 crore will be allocated for Kalaignar Women's monthly honorarium scheme for women.

Free bus ride scheme for women will be extended to hilly areas of Nilgiris, Kodaikanal and Valparai from the coming year. In the Budget estimates 2024-25, an amount of Rs.3,050 has been provided as subsidy for this scheme.

Pudhumai Penn scheme will be extended to girl students studying in Government-aided schools in Tamil medium. A sum of Rs.370 crore will be allocated for the implementation of this scheme in the coming year.

The Chief Minister‟s Breakfast Scheme Government-aided schools in rural areas of the State starting from the upcoming academic year, thus benefiting around 2.5 lakh students enrolled from Class I to Class V. In the next financial year, an allocation of Rs.600 crore will be earmarked towards this initiative.

Chennai will host the „Global Start-up Summit‟ in January 2025, bringing together leading startups and accomplished young entrepreneurs from across the world.

Three new industrial estates dedicated to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises will be established in Ottanchathiram Taluk in Dindigul District, Manamadurai Taluk in Sivagangai District and Thiruthuraipoondi Taluk in Thiruvarur District.

These industrial estates will be developed by the Tamil Nadu Small Industries Development Corporation (TANSIDCO), on a total area of 80 acres, at an estimated cost of Rs.32 crore. This initiative is expected to create direct employment opportunities for 3,000 people.

A four-storied industrial complex, with plug and play facilities, will be constructed at Kurichi Industrial Estate in Coimbatore district, over an extent of 1.2 acres, at a cost of Rs.37 crore by TANSIDCO. This will generate direct employment opportunities for 1,000 persons and indirect employment for 500 persons.

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A state-of-the-art Industrial Innovation Centre, covering an area of 26,500 sq.ft, will be constructed in Madurai at an approximate cost of Rs.24 crore.

A three-storied industrial complex, spanning 5 acres of land, will be developed at Sakkimangalam Industrial Estate in Madurai 51 district by TANSIDCO at a cost of Rs.118 crore. This initiative will support Micro, Small, and Medium entrepreneurs and is expected to create employment opportunities for 4,500 individuals.

The Government is carefully analyzing the recent developments in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and their implication across various sections of the Tamil society. Under the guidance of the Chief Minister, the "Tamil Nadu Artificial Intelligence Mission‟ will be established to develop guidelines for constructively leveraging AI in education, employment, industry, research and medicine, and to establish clear protocols for its utilization. This mission will involve professors from leading educational institutions in Tamil Nadu, executives from the electronics industry, and experts in the field.

The works for first phase of "Extension, Renovation and Modernization of Grand Anicut Canal system‟ are being undertaken at an estimated cost of Rs.1,037 crore for effective water management in Cauvery Basin, and are nearing completion. Further, works for the second phase will be undertaken at an estimated cost of Rs.400 crore in the coming year, thus benefiting an ayacut of 2.3 lakh acre in Thanjavur and Pudukottai Districts.

Major beaches across the State including Marina in Chennai, Ariyaman in Ramanathapuram, Kayalpattinam in Thoothukudi, Kodavilai in Tirunelveli, Kameswaram in Nagapattinam, Kattumavadi in Pudukottai, Silver beach in Cuddalore and Marakkanam in Villupuram will be developed at an estimated cost of Rs.250 crore to obtain blue flag certification.

In order to upgrade the basic amenities in tribal habitations and improve their living standards, a new scheme, "Tholkudi‟, will be implemented in the next four years at an outlay of Rs.1,000 crore.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin with Finance Minister Thangam Thennarasu ahead of presentation of the State Budget 2024-25 in the Assembly, in Chennai, Monday, Feb. 19, 2024.
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