Tamil Nadu govt announces ₹1,000 monthly assistance for women in Budget ’23-24

Terming the assistance scheme a ‘game changer’, Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan said the modalities were being worked out for its implementation and 7,000 crore has been set apart for the purpose.

PTI
Updated20 Mar 2023, 11:06 PM IST
Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan presents the State Budget for FY 2023-24 in the State Assembly, in Chennai, Monday, March 20, 2023. (PTI Photo)
Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan presents the State Budget for FY 2023-24 in the State Assembly, in Chennai, Monday, March 20, 2023. (PTI Photo)(PTI)

The 1000 monthly assistance for eligible women heads of families would be launched in September 2023, the Tamil Nadu government announced in its Budget 2023-24, inching a step closer to fulfilment of its key electoral promise made ahead of the 2021 Assembly election.

Terming the assistance scheme a "game changer," Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan, presenting the Budget in the Assembly said the modalities were being worked out for its implementation and 7,000 crore has been set apart for the purpose.

While Chief Minister MK Stalin said the monthly cash assistance of 1,000 to women heads will greatly revolutionise their lives, Leader of Opposition and AIADMK interim chief K Palaniswami alleged the criteria for identifying the eligible women heads has not been made clear.

The scheme shall be a "game changer in the socio-economic life of women of the State," Rajan said.

It would be inaugurated by Stalin on September 15, DMK founder and former Chief Minister CN Annadurai's (1909-1969) birth anniversary.

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In Tamil, the assistance is officially known as "Magalir Urimai Thogai," which means "Women's Right to Assistance." Women heads of eligible households would get the financial assistance.

With the ruling DMK vowing to win all the 39 Parliamentary seats in Tamil Nadu and the lone Puducherry segment in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, the government also announced extending the CM's breakfast scheme to cover all the 30,122 government primary schools and set apart 500 crore that is set to benefit 18 lakh students from Class I to V.

Rajan said the free breakfast scheme for primary students has led to increase in attendance, between 10-30 per cent in schools. In the upcoming financial year, the government would construct classrooms, laboratories and toilets at a cost of 1,500 crore, he said.

In Budget Estimates for 2023-24, the revenue deficit is estimated at 37,540.45 crore and the fiscal deficit is estimated at 92,074.91 crore.

The government plans to borrow Rs.1,43,197.93 crore during 2023-24 and make repayment of Rs.51,331.79 crore. As a result, the outstanding debt as on March 31, 2024 would be Rs.7,26,028.83 crore.

The revenue expenditure is estimated at Rs.3,08,055.68 crore and the total revenue receipts including Central transfers are estimated at 2,70,515.23 crore and 44,365.59 crore has been provided as capital expenditure.

"Owing to the unprecedented and difficult reforms undertaken, we have reduced the annual revenue deficit of around 62,000 crore which we inherited on assuming office (May 2021), to around Rs.30,000 crore in the Revised Estimates of the current year." This is notwithstanding the several "massive welfare schemes" that are being implemented during the last two years, he said.

Fare free travel for women in State-run buses are among the several schemes being implemented. Even as Rajan began his address, the principal opposition AIADMK attempted to raise issues which led to a din for a while. The party MLAs later staged a walkout.

In the current economic scenario, Tamil Nadu's growth is higher than that of the national GDP, which is a positive sign, the minister said.

"This growth advantage is expected to continue in the coming year," he added.

Meanwhile, a top state finance official said that "during 2023-24, we expect about 50,000 crore revenue from TASMAC (Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation, the State-run alcoholic beverages retail chain)...this year it was 45,000 crore and last year it was 36,000 crore."

N Muruganandam, Additional Chief Secretary (Finance) also said there is a scope for an "additional revenue of about 2,000 crore," from realty sector as a budgetary proposal envisages an increase in guideline value --to reflect market value-- and reducing registration fee from 4 per cent to 2 per cent.

School Education Department saw an allocation of 40,299 crore, Health and Family Welfare 18,661 crore, Higher Education Rs.6,967 crore and Environment, Climate Change and Forests Department 1,248 crore.

Outlining secured investment commitments worth 2,70,020 crore since May 2021, Rajan said that the next Global Investors Meet would be held here on 10 and 11 January 2024.

The Budget announcements include setting up of a "Unified Digital Infrastructure" that would create high speed optical fibre network at a cost of 400 crore.

Promotion of TN as a global hub for IT/ITeS and to meet the increasing demand for quality, establishing "Tamil Nadu Tech City" (TNTech city) in Chennai, Coimbatore and Hosur and an international bird centre at Marakkanam near here at an estimated cost of 25 crore were among the other announcements made.

The Finance Minister announced setting up of a "state of the art global sports city" in Chennai and 25 crore for "factory skill schools" and Metro rail projects for Coimbatore and Madurai. Rajan also announced renovation of the Jawaharlal Nehru Outdoor Stadium here at an estimated cost of 25 Crore. Udhayanidhi, son of CM Stalin is the Minister for Youth Welfare and Sports Development.

The Budget also reflected the DMK regime's social justice, Tamil development and cultural ideological focus, as seen in several announcements.

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First Published:20 Mar 2023, 11:06 PM IST
HomeEconomyTamil Nadu govt announces ₹1,000 monthly assistance for women in Budget ’23-24

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