Jaya walks the poll talk of freebies | india | Hindustan Times
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Jaya walks the poll talk of freebies

Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa on Thursday walked her poll talk as her government put up money to finance freebies she promised to the electorate on the eve of April 13 assembly elections.

india Updated: Aug 04, 2011 18:40 IST
HT Correspondent

Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa on Thursday walked her poll talk as her government put up money to finance freebies she promised to the electorate on the eve of April 13 assembly elections.

Presenting the first budget of the Jayalalithaa government, for the year 2011-12, finance minister O Paneerselvam made adequate allocations for freebies – mixies & grinders, laptops, gold for poor brides among others.

On the welfare front, he also announced new schemes which along with the freebies are estimated to cost the state Rs 8,900 crore.

The finance minister made a provision of Rs 1250 crore to finance free mixer, grinder and fan scheme in the first budget he presented. This scheme would benefit some 25 lakh families across the state.

Paneerselvam also allocated a sum of Rs 514 crore to purchase gold to be given to girls from poor families for making mangalsutras (wedding chain) for their marriage as promised by Jayalalithaa in the party election manifesto.

The boys have not been ignored either – as they are included in another scheme under which Class XII students will be given a cash incentive of Rs 2000 once a year so that they do not drop out. Similarly, class X and Class XI students would get Rs 1500 per annum as an incentive under the scheme for which a sum of Rs 314 crore has been put aside.

Another sum of Rs 1080 crore has been earmarked for 60,000 greenhouses electrified with solar power to allotment to BPL families.

A slew of development projects and welfare schemes would not mean state finances would be under pressure, the minister said and added "the government has to look for additional resources to sustain new initiatives." He told the assembly that the government has carefully calibrated the measures to raise additional resources by altering certain tax rates in commercial taxes, state excise duties, stamp and registration fees.

"We have also eliminated the previous year's rrevenue deficit of Rs 2,270 crore and generated a marginal revenue surplus of Rs 173.87 crore in this budget," the minister said. "For the first time, the size of the state's budget has crossed the Rs 100,000 crore mark," he said.

Just before elections, the DMK government had presented an interim budget for 2011-12. On Thursday, the AIADMK government presented the full budget for 2011-12.