CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI ■ ■ chennai l tuesday l march 21, 2023 l `9.00 l PAGES 22 l late city EDITION environment State’s coast to be restored TN Coastal Restoration Mission will protect livelihood of coastal people, prevent erosion & conserve biodiversity at `2,000 crore | P2 st u d e n ts Support for UPSC aspirants Every year, 1,000 aspirants will be shortlisted and each provided `7,500 per month for 10 months and a lump sum of `25,000 if they clear the prelims | P4 SC /ST Bill on sub-plans in the offing New legislation for adequate allocation and effective implementation of SC/ST sub-plans will be passed, meeting a longstanding demand | P4 Metro for Kovai, Madurai soon Metro rail in Coimbatore and Madurai to be implemented at an estimated cost of `9,000 crore & `8,500 crore respectively | P5 big numbers t ra n s p o rt `1,000 crore to develop North Chennai over the next three years through ‘Vada Chennai Valarchi Thittam,’ which aims to address the infrastructure deficit and gaps in development in the northern parts of Chennai The schemes are devised so as to cover the interests of every person MK Stalin, CM 54 government polytechnic colleges will be upgraded as centres of excellence at a total cost of Long-awaited honorarium of `1,000 gets launch six months away as DMK strengthens TN’s finances while pursuing social justice agenda TN invests in women & dalits E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ Chennai TAMIL Nadu has continued its promised march towards prosperity and social justice. While pulling the state economy out of the debt pile and steadily elevating it to the trillion-dollar dream by 2030, the DMK government has paid heed to the long-standing demands of women and the marginalised. As expected, it has doled out a series of welfare schemes. Finance minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan on Monday announced the much-awaited monthly honorarium of `1,000 to all eligible women family heads. But he bought another six months’ time to implement the poll promise by fixing the launch date on September 15, the birth anniversary of party founder CN Annadurai. Incidentally, the payments are likely to begin just before the poll bugle is sounded for the 2024 general elections. Presenting a budget that is viewed as striking a neat balance between the prevailing fiscal situ- ation and the immediate need of the society, PTR described the honorarium as a game-changer. He has allocated `7,000 crore for the scheme that is named as ‘Magalir Urimai Thogai’. Metro rail projects in Coimbatore and Madurai will be implemented at an estimated cost of `9,000 crore and `8,500 crore respectively, he added. The budget has initiatives targeted at disadvantaged sections. Among the announcements that may have a great impact is the proposal to bring a new legislation for planning, allocation and utilisation of developmental funds meant for scheduled caste and scheduled tribes. The minister said the legislation for the SC/ ST sub-plans will be introduced in the next assembly session after consultation with stakeholders. The minister announced the Annal Ambedkar Business Champions scheme with an allocation of `100 crore to encourage the emergence of entrepreneurs from NSA slapped on 5 aides of Amritpal H ar p reet B aj w a & Y e s hi Se l i SC/ST communities and the ‘Iyothee Thass Pandithar Habitation Development Scheme’ to ensure basic amenities in Dalit habitations at `1,000 crore over the next five years. The budget addressed another demand by bringing schools run by the Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare department under the School Education department to ensure better quality. In perhaps the first major infrastructure boost in years to north Chennai, largely home to a working class population, PTR announced that the government will implement the ‘Vada Chennai Valarchi Thittam’ at a cost of `1,000 crore over the next three years. Taking note of the decline in the number of TN students clearing civil services exams, he said 1,000 civil service aspirants will be provided `7,500 per month for 10 months to prepare for the preliminary test and a sum of `25,000 if they clear the prelims. P4 `2,783 crore Magalir Urimai Thogai will be game-changer in socio-economic life of TN’s women Even after increasing power tariff, milk price, revenue deficit has not declined Edappadi K Palaniswami, AIADMK T M uru g a n a n d ham @ Chennai THE DMK government, which took the reins in 2021, when the revenue deficit was hovering around `62,000 crore, is on its way to achieve zero-revenue deficit. Finance minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan on Monday said he has brought down the revenue deficit by around 52% to `30,000 crore in the revised estimates for 2022-23. He said the state would adopt a smooth glide path to achieve a ED grills Kavitha for 10 hours, to question her again today The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday questioned BRS leader K Kavitha for over 10 hours in connection with her alleged role in the multi-crore Delhi excise policy scam case. The Telangana MLC reached the ED office in Delhi around 10.30 am and left around 9.15 pm, waving a victory sign. She has been asked to appear again before the ED on Tuesday . Kavitha, daughter of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, was first questioned in the case on March 11 for close to nine hours, following which she was summoned again on March 16. However, she skipped the deposition citing her pending plea before the Supreme Court against the ED action. The ED rejected her reason and directed her to depose on March 20. The apex court will hear Kavitha’s petition on March 24. The ED has filed a caveat in the SC, requesting that its submission be heard before passing any order on her petition. The ED is questioning the 44-year-old Telangana politician over her alleged involvement in the Delhi liquor policy formulation, her association with other accused named in the chargesheet, and her link to the liquor cartel known as the South Group. In a related development, a Delhi court on Monday sent Hyderabad-based businessman Arun Ramachandran Pillai to judicial custody till April 3. Pillai, an alleged frontman of South Group, was arrested in a money-laundering case related to the Delhi excise policy scam. It is alleged that he is Kavitha’s benami. peaceful, small pockets of protests against the police action emerged abroad. Khalistani supporters vandalised the Indian High Commission in London, attacked the Indian Consulate in San Francisco in the US and staged a protest outside the Australian Parliament in Canberra. India conveyed its strong protest to US Charge d’Affaires Elizabeth Jones over vandalism in San Francisco in a meeting with her, the MEA said. MHA seeks CBI probe on Mander’s NGO A M I T M U K H E R J E E @ New Delhi The Union home ministry has recommended a CBI inquiry into alleged FCRA violation by Aman Biradari, an NGO run by former IAS officer and activist Harsh Mander. According to sources, the ministry wing that monitors foreign funding to NGOs operating in India, has detected non-compliance by the NGO. As per norms, all NGOs operating in India that receive for- eign funding need to register under the FCRA guidelines, follow certain disclosure norms and obtain clearance from the home ministry . Sources said Aman Biradari received crores of rupees in overseas funding from organisations including a well-known UKbased donor and a leading inter national organisation working for poverty alleviation and social injustice. There were alleged non-compliance and disclosure non- Finance minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan said he has brought the revenue deficit down by a whopping 52%, from around `62,000 crore when the DMK took charge in 2021 to `30,000 crore in revised estimates for 2022-23 The minister said the state is on track to achieve a zero-revenue deficit. In 2024-25, the revenue deficit is expected to fall to `18,583 crore and lead to a surplus of `1,218 crore the next year (last year’s allocation was `1,520 crore) towards subsidies for free travel for women, trans-persons, persons with disabilities and attenders in ordinary buses CM’s Breakfast Scheme to be expanded to cover all 30,122 govt primary schools & benefit 18 lakh children with an allocation of `500 crore After slump, state gravy train to soon gather pace With pro-Khalistani rabblerouser Amritpal Singh continuing to be elusive, the Punjab Police on Monday invoked the stringent National Security Act (NSA) against five of his close associates. Amritpal could also face charges under the NSA after his arrest, said Inspector General of Police Sukhchain Singh Gill. Four of those booked under the NSA were shifted to the Dibrugarh Central Jail in Assam on Sunday to isolate them from the rest of their associates. The fifth is Amritpal’s uncle Harjit Singh, who surrendered on Sunday night near Jalandhar. He, too, has been taken to the Assam jail. The Punjab government also extended the suspension of mobile internet services till Tuesday noon. “We have evidence that the close associates of Amritpal were forming an Anandpur Khalsa Fauj (AKF). Bullet proof jackets with AKF written on them were recovered from his house,’’ Gill said. The police suspect the accused had foreign funding as they were using hawala channels for cash transactions. “Besides, we suspect an ISI (Pakistan’s deep state) angle in it,” Gill added. While Punjab continues to be “The US government was reminded of its basic obligation to protect and secure diplomatic representation. It was asked to take appropriate measures to prevent recurrence of such incidents,’’ the MEA said, adding that the Indian Embassy in Washington DC also conveyed its concerns to the US State Department on similar lines | P15 over the next five years `2,800 crore revenue deficit cut by 52% since 2021 A M I T M U K H E R J E E @ New Delhi Strong protest `1,000 crore soumyadip sinha PTR, Finance minister @ Chandigarh/New Delhi Sikh people protest against supporters of Amritpal Singh for vandalising Indian property abroad, in Delhi | AFP The ‘Iyothee Thass Pandithar Habitation Development Scheme’ to ensure basic amenities in Dalit habitations at a cost of adherence of the requisite norms. Mander, who was a member of the National Advisory Council headed by Congress leader Sonia Gandhi during the UPA regime, had faced a probe by the Directorate of Enforcement in September 2021 for alleged financial irregularities. The ED action was initiated following a probe in October 2020, when the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights detected serious violations by two children’s homes run by Mander’s NGO. zero-revenue deficit without compromising on welfare activities and developmental priorities. TN’s growth is higher than that of the national GDP and this is expected to continue in the coming year though a global economic slowdown is anticipated, said PTR, while presenting the budget for 2023-24. The outstanding debt is expected to rise to `7,26,029 crore by March 31, 2024, but this will be well within the norms prescribed by the 15th Finance Commission. During the ensuing financial year, the state is planning to borrow `1,43,198 crore, he said. “The revenue deficit for 2023-24 is estimated at `37,540 crore. In view of revenue augmentation measures, including improvement in collection efficiencies and rate rationalisation, the revenue deficit is expected to reduce to `18,583 crore in 2024-25 and subsequently lead to a surplus of `1,218 crore in 2025-26. This will create additional space for capital expenditure,” said PTR. Similarly, the fiscal deficit is estimated at 3.25% of GSDP. In the coming years, the fiscal deficit to GSDP ratio is estimated to be 3% in 2024-25 and 3% in 2025-26, which is within the norms. The minister stressed the government had achieved this improvement despite increasing interest costs, and the stringent barriers imposed on TN’s fiscal administration by the Centre.
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