Tamil Nadu’s 2023-24 budget has six major thrust areas — skill development and job creation; women empowerment, socio-economic development of marginalised, achieving social justice in all walks of life, promoter infrastructure development and achieving balanced growth.
Many new announcements were made in the budget speech by Finance minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan on Monday. For instance, women heads of eligible households in Tamil Nadu will be provided ₹1,000 per month from the next financial year. This is one of the promises made by the DMK in its election manifesto.
Women heads of families who have been affected adversely by the steep increase in cooking gas prices by the Union government and the overall price rise will be greatly benefited from this scheme.
The scheme will be launched by the Chief Minister on September 15, the birth anniversary of Perarignar Anna, said Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan.
The operational guidelines outlining the eligibility to avail of the benefits under this scheme will be evolved and released soon, he said. A sum of ₹7,000 crore has been allotted in the Budget for this scheme which will be a game changer in the socio-economic life of women of the State, he added.
Chief Minister’s Breakfast Scheme will be expanded to cover all the 30,122 government primary schools in the State from the coming academic year. A sum of ₹500 crore is allotted for this scheme in this Budget which will benefit 18 lakh students studying from Class I to Class V.
The government will implement the Tamil Nadu Coastal Restoration Mission to prevent sea erosion, reduce marine pollution and conserve marine biodiversity. This will be implemented with World Bank assistance at a cost of ₹2,000 crore in the next five years.
Polytechnics will be Centres of Excellence with a sum of ₹2,783 crore allotted to modernise and upgrade 54 government polytechnics.
To improve North Chennai, the government will implement the Vada Chennai Valarchi Thittam (North Chennai Development Scheme) at a cost of ₹1,000 crore over the next three years.
Action will be taken to identify and address the infrastructure deficit and gaps in development. The scheme will be implemented by converging the funds of the Chennai Metropolitan Development Agency with the ongoing schemes.
Further, to meet the liabilities of the poll promises fulfilled by this government, a sum of ₹2,393 crore for the waiver of agricultural loans, a sum of ₹1,000 crore for the waiver of jewel loans, and a sum of ₹600 crore for waiving self-help group loans, totalling an amount of ₹3,993 crore has been allotted in the Budget.
The Minister announced setting up a high-tech global sports city in Chennai set up by the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority.
Since May 2021, a total of 221 MoUs have been inked for investment commitments worth ₹2,70,020 crore with employment opportunities for 3,89,651 persons.
Among the MoUs signed recently, 85 projects will be set up in industrially backward districts with an investment commitment of ₹1,44,028 crore and employment potential for 2,14,478 persons.
To consolidate the benefits from these investments, guided by the vision to steer Tamil Nadu towards a $1 trillion economy by 2030, the next Global Investors Meet will be organised in Chennai on January 10 and 11, 2024. An allocation of ₹100 crore has been made for the Global Investors Meet, he said.
As a first phase of cleaning and restoring waterways including Adyar and Cooum, the government will take up restoration of the Adyar river for a length of 44 km at a cost of ₹1,500 crore through PPP mode, he said.
A four-lane elevated flyover on Anna Salai from Teynampet to Saidapet will be taken up for construction at an estimated cost of ₹621 crore in the coming year.
Allocations of ₹1,847 crore towards the Chennai Peripheral Ring Road Project, ₹1,500 crore for the Chennai-Kanniyakumari Industrial Corridor Project, and ₹645 crore towards Tamil Nadu Road Sector Project-II have been made in the Budget Estimates.
In the Budget Estimates, ₹19,465 crore has been allocated to the Highways and Minor Ports Department, he said.
After Chennai, the government will implement the Metro Rail projects in Coimbatore and Madurai with ₹17,500 crore allotted in the budget.
In Coimbatore, the project will be implemented along Avinashi Road and Sathyamangalam Road at an estimated cost of ₹9,000 crore while in Madurai at a cost of ₹8,500 crore.
The government will launch the ‘Simple Gov’ initiative to achieve this end. As part of this initiative, digitisation of various services and internal processes of government departments are being taken up expeditiously.
To ensure compliance with standards and time-bound development of software, an e-Governance fund of ₹100 crore will be created. The fund will be utilised to finance key e-Governance initiatives of government departments, he said.