Key takeaways from Tamil Nadu Budget

Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Thangam Thennarasu on Monday presented the budget for 2024-25 with a host of new schemes for almost all sections of the society based on the seven focal points – 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 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.

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.

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.