Highlights of 2023-24 Tamilnadu budget

In the 2023-24 budget, Tamil Nadu has announced significant investments in education, health, and infrastructure besides fulfilling a key DMK poll promise: Rs 1,000 monthly cash assistance for eligible women homemakers.

With an array of schemes to improve civil services coaching, cultural projects, and a significant focus on transport and road infrastructure, the budget gave a special focus on the government’s commitment to enhancing the city’s infrastructure and quality of life, particularly in North Chennai.

The major highlight of the budget presented by the state finance minister Palanivel Thiagarajan was the Rs 1000 cash assistance for “eligible households”, indicating a possible selection process to determine eligible women heads of the family. “I am very happy to announce that Rs 1,000 per month will be provided to women heads of eligible households from the upcoming financial year. Women heads of families who have been affected adversely by the steep increase in cooking gas price by the Union government and the overall price rise will greatly benefit from this scheme,” the minister said in his Budget speech.

The scheme will be rolled out on September 15, the birth anniversary of DMK founder and former chief minister C N Annadurai.

The budget also reports a significant reduction in the annual revenue deficit from approximately Rs 62,000 crore to around Rs 30,000 crore in the Revised Estimates for the current year. This reduction is even more impressive considering it is around Rs 5,000 crore lower than the pre-COVID year of 2019-20.

While Rs 40,299 crore has been allocated to the school education department, a total of Rs 6,967 crore has been allocated for higher education besides Rs 2,877 crore, including for projects such as transforming 71 government Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) to Centres of Excellence.