The State government has dismissed the criticism about the absence of new major schemes and projects in the State Budget.
Claiming that the Budget has everything to offer to different sections of society, K. Shanmugam, Additional Chief Secretary (Finance), cited a number of pro-people features.
The new schemes and projects, totalling 35, include a â€ścomprehensiveâ€ť accident-cum-life insurance scheme for below poverty line (BPL) families; two housing projects of â‚ą9,647.5 crore for the urban poor; creation of organic certification centres in all districts to promote organic farming; the plan to procure 2,000 electric buses and 12,000 BS-VI buses and the project to establish â€śadvanced hi-end skill building centresâ€ť in five districts to train 10,000 unemployed engineering graduates annually.
In the primary sector, not only agriculture but also allied activities â€” animal husbandry and fisheries â€” have been covered through projects such as the establishment of a â‚ą100-crore frozen semen station and the distribution of long-range communication gadgets â€” 240 units of NAVIC [a regional satellite navigation system developed by ISRO], 160 units of NavTEX (Navigational Text message) equipment and 160 units of Isat-2 satellite phones â€” to 80 clusters of deep-sea fishing boats.
As for the agriculture, micro irrigation is sought to be promoted by covering 2 lakh hectares.
Permanent flood mitigation works in the northern districts of the State and the second edition of dam rehabilitation and improvement project at a cost of â‚ą610.26 crore for 37 dams are some of the new initiatives in the areas of disaster management and water resources.
In respect of the secondary sector, industrial estates, promoted by the Tamil Nadu Small Industries Development Corporation (SIDCO) to benefit micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME), would have separate power feeder lines during 2019-20 to get â€śquality and uninterruptedâ€ť power supply, Mr. Shanmugam said.
To provide international exposure to the sector, the government would soon set up MSME Trade and Investment Promotion Bureau.
While providing for the continuance of the existing welfare schemes in the Budget, the State government has come up with one more â€” an insurance scheme for the below poverty line families, which is expected to cover 55 lakh beneficiaries.
To be implemented by the Tamil Nadu Corporation for Development of Women (TNCDW) along with the Life Insurance Corporation of India, the State government will meet the entire cost of premium payment.
A sum of â‚ą250 crore had been provided for the scheme, which would cover beneficiaries up to the age of 60.
For the urban poor, one of the housing projects, meant for Chennai and neighbouring areas, envisages the construction of 38,000 tenements.