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AIADMK govt bets again on flagship welfare schemes

AIADMK govt bets again on flagship welfare schemes

Chennai: Presenting its last full-fledged budget ahead of 2021 assembly polls, the AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu on Friday made generous allocations to its flagship welfare schemes,including Rs 6,500 crore for food subsidy, and announced interest waiver for prompt repayment of crop loans.

Seeking to give a fresh impetus to the low-cost "Amma canteens", it announced mobile units would be launched to take food to the work sites of construction labourers and a Special Purpose Vehicle to finance and manage the string of eateries, launched by late chief minister J Jayalalithaa in 2013.

Deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam, who holds the finance portfolio, in his over three-hour long budget address, peppered his speech with references to Jayalalithaa and her welfare initiatives.

He announced addition of 1.73 lakh new beneficaries under social security pension, allocating Rs 4,315 crore for the schemes. He also substantially enhanced compensation under an accident-cum-life insurance scheme named after Jayalalithaa for the below poverty line families.

A Rs 500 crore one-time special scheme for giving a boost to essential infrastructure works in urban and rural areas are also among the other highlights of the budget for 2020-21.

It showed a fiscal deficit of Rs 59,346 crore and pegged the growth rate of the economy at 7.2 per cent, as against 8.17 per cent in 2018-19, but it will still be higher than the projected national GDP rate of five per cent.

The budget proposed to borrow Rs 59,209.30 crore in 2020 -21 against the overall permissible limit of Rs 62,757.80 crore. The outstanding debt will be Rs 4,56,660.99 crore constituting 21.83 per cent of GSDP in 2020-21.

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