TN budget tries to please all, but oppn not ‘satisfied’

The AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu on Friday presented its last full-fledged budget before the 2021 Assembly election with an outstanding debt of Rs 4,56,660.99 crore constituting 21.83  per cent of GSDP in 2020-21.

Presenting the budget for the 10th time in the state assembly, Deputy Chief Minister O Pannerselvam who is handling the finance portfolio said that the outstanding debt is well within the norms of the 2003 Tamil Nadu Fiscal Responsibility Act.

Eco-restoration of the Buckingham Canal, its drains and all the drains of the Cooum and Adyar at a total cost of ₹5,439.76 crore to be taken up. Environmental Clearance for Athikadavu-Avinashi irrigation scheme has been obtained, ₹500 crore provided in the budget for the project.

Food parks proposed to be established in Dharmapuri, Ariyalur, Perambalur, Karur, Nagapattinam, Ramanathapuram, Tenkasi districts at a cost of ₹70 crore.

Rs 5 crore along with piece of land will be provided by government to set up Centre for Public Finance, a research centre by Madras School of Economics at Kotturpuram. Tamil Nadu govt to start old age homes in districts on a pilot basis.

Tamil Nadu to allocate special funds to maintain govt offices functioning from heritage structures.  Averring that global and national economic headwinds were faced by Tamil Nadu as well,
Panneerselvam said in 2019-20, the economic growth was projected to be 7.27 per cent, which was significantly higher than the projected all India growth rate of five percent.

”We expect an even stronger growth performance in 2020-21”, he said, presenting the Budget in the State Assembly. Global and national level economic headwinds were faced by Tamil Nadu as well, at this time.

”At the All India level, the growth estimates for 2019-20 have been revised downwards and projected at five percent in constant price terms”, he said.

This government accords the highest priority to providing quality education to every child and hence the highest budgetary allocation of Rs 34,181.73 crore has been made for the school education department, Panneerselvam announced.

Panneerselvam also said, to enhance the safety of women in buses, CCTV cameras are to be fitted in all buses at an estimated cost of Rs 75.02 crore allotted under the Nirbhaya fund.

As far as the city is concerned Panneerselvam said the government will launch the Chennai City partnership as a unique model of development co-operation with the World Bank to ensure the continued sustainable growth of metropolitan Chennai.

The DMK in Tamil Nadu on Friday drew parallels between the lengthy budget addresses by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and state deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam to allege that the ruling AIADMK was “following” the Central government.

Stalin said it was a “deficit” one for all. “It is deficit budget. There is no adequate (initiatives) for anyone,” he said, indicating it had little provisions for all-round benefit. TTV Dhinakaran and other opposition leaders too slammed the budget.