Finance Minister Thangam Thennarasu: TN govt mulling reversion to old pension scheme

Furthermore, the finance minister gave a detailed account of how the union government’s fiscal policies have been affecting the Tamil Nadu government.
Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Thangam Thennarasu
Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Thangam Thennarasu(File photo)

CHENNAI: Finance Minister Thangam Thennarasu on Wednesday told the Assembly that a policy decision on reverting to the old pension scheme is being considered by the state government.

Various unions of government employees and teachers associations have been demanding that the DMK government should revert to the old pension scheme expeditiously and fulfil its poll promise.

Replying to the discussion on the demands for grants for the finance department, Thennarasu said the experts’ committee appointed for the purpose has elicited the views of the various associations of government employees. Further, the views expressed by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) have also been taken into account.

Expressing happiness over the minister’s remarks, G Venkatesan, president of Tamil Nadu Secreariat Association told TNIE, “Former Finance Minister P Thiaga Rajan had outrightly denied reverting to the old pension scheme. But the present Finance Minister Thangam Thennarasu said the government is considering a policy decision. It is indeed a good sign. However, the state government should not delay its policy decision.”

Furthermore, the finance minister gave a detailed account of how the union government’s fiscal policies have been affecting the Tamil Nadu government. The minister pointed out that the Chennai Metro Rail Phase - 2 to be implemented at a cost of Rs 63,246 crore and as a central sector project, has been awaiting the approval of the cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) for the last three years. Pending this approval, the entire expenditure is being borne by the state. Due to this unfair act of the centre, in the current year alone, the state government has allocated Rs 12,000 crore, he said.

At the same time, the centre has given clearance for the second phases of the Nagpur Metro Rail Project and Kochi Metro Rail Project in 2022 and the Gurugram and Pune Metro Rail projects in 2023. Due to this situation, the state is facing a huge fiscal burden, he said.

“With Rs 12,000 crore, the state could have bought 25,000 new buses so that the number of public transport buses could be doubled; also, rural roads could be improved for a stretch of 30,000km; 3.5 lakh new houses could have been built; 50,000 new classrooms for students could have been built,” Minister Thennarasu added.

Similarly, the state government had requested a relief assistance of Rs 37,906 crore for the havoc and damages caused by cyclone Michaung and floods in the southern and northern parts of Tamil Nadu last year. But the GoI gave a meagre Rs 276 crore. “This is the biggest injustice inflicted on Tamil Nadu,” he added.

Planning & Spl Initiatives Department

  • The department through the Sustainable Development Goals Coordination Centre (SDGCC) formed in association with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will launch the Tamil Nadu Corporate Social Responsibility (TNCSR) Web Platform at an estimated cost of Rs 20 lakh

  • The Tamil Nadu State Land Use Research Board (TNSLURB) established under the State Planning Commission (SPC) will work with the Tamil Nadu e-Governance Agency (TNeGA) to build a Land Use Information System (LUIS), a predictive modelling tool

  • The State Planning Commission will launch a six-month public management certificate course through reputed institutions like Madras Institute of Development Studies, Madras School of Economics and the Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai, at an estimated cost of Rs 1.02 crore per year

  • The Department of Economics and Statistics in collaboration with the Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Department and the TNeGA, will use remote sensing and drone technology to capture crop statistics as an innovative program at the district level. In the initial stages, this project will be implemented in selected districts on a pilot basis

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