CHENNAI: Minutes after she was sworn in as Tamil Nadu chief minister on Monday, AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa ordered a slew of measures aimed at fulfilling her electoral promises, including a prohibition in the state.
Jayalalithaa, who attended her sixth swearing in ceremony, got down to work almost immediately, signing five files that put in motion certain policies from the party’s manifesto.
Among them were the first steps aimed at imposing a liquor ban in the state, a major poll promise that helped turn the electorate in her favour.
As per the new regulations, state-operated Tasmac shops will operate for shorter durations in the day, opening at noon instead of 10am from May 24 onwards. Other measures will include reducing the number of Tasmac outlets and shutting down those attached to bars. Already, 500 stores have been closed, though details of where these stores were shut were unavailable.
Alcohol de-addiction centres will also be opened across the state to deal with the fallout of a constricted access to alcohol.
T he state gover nment generates a revenue of over
Rs 26,000 crore per annum from liquor sales.
During her campaign, Jayalalithaa turned the tide in her favour by charging rival Karunanidhi and his DMK party of lifting prohibition in 1971 and introducing alcohol to subsequent generations in the state.
The CM also waived off loans for farmers up to March 31, 2016 payable to co-operative banks. The waiver includes crop loan, medium and long term loans of small and micro farmers payable to co-operative banks. The move is likely to entail a financial burden of Rs 5,780 crore on her government.
Jayalalithaa also ordered 100 units of free power every two months for domestic electricity consumers with effect from Monday in tune with the present tariff computation. It would entail an additional payout of ` 1,607 crore as grant to the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) by the state government.
The other decisions taken by the CM include providing eight grams of gold to women from weaker sections under the ‘Gold for Mangalsutra’ scheme and 550 more free units of power to handloom weavers. (With agency inputs)