Variety

Rs 2,500-crore welfare schemes with a difference

R. Ravikumar | Updated on September 14, 2011

Wet grinders being unloaded for distribution under the State’s welfare schemes.

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Coinciding with the birth anniversary of former Chief Minister C. N. Annadurai, the AIADMK Government in Tamil Nadu is all set to kickstart its various welfare schemes such as distribution of free fans, mixies and grinders to women, laptop computers for students, special incentive to students of Standard X, XI and XII, cross-bred Jersey milch cows to rural poor and four goats to the poor, on September 15.

The Government has allotted a total of around Rs 2,500 crore for the current financial year for the purpose.

The Chief Minister, Ms J. Jayalalithaa, will also launch, apart from various other schemes, the distribution of electric fans, mixers and wet grinders to women tomorrow at Kakkalur, a village near Thiruvallur, on the same day.

In the first round, of the total of 1.8-crore targeted households in the State, the Government will distribute mixies, grinders and fans to 25 lakh households.

According to sources-in-the-know, the Government has placed orders with 18 major manufacturers, including the Chennai-based Gandhimathi Appliances - maker of the Butterfly branded kitchen appliances; Sowbhagya, Amirtha, Sastha, Jyoti, Ponmani, Vijayalakshmi, PVG, Green Chef and Kanchan.

(The Government has allotted Rs 1,250 crore this year for this scheme.)

The Chief Minister will also distribute laptop computers for students in Government and Government-aided educational institutions.

This scheme is aimed at empowering, nurturing and enriching students and to enhance their skills and take advantage of the information technology revolution.

Nearly Rs 912 crore has been allotted for this scheme, and this will benefit 9.12 lakh students in the first round.

The Government has identified 12,000 poor households to distribute milch cows to at a cost of Rs 56 crore.

To raise the living standards of poor families by creating a regular stream of additional income to them, the Government will distribute four goats to each poor family and this scheme will cover one lakh families this year. The budgeted amount for this scheme is Rs 135 crore.

The Government would acquire these products at a price lower than the market price.

For example, each mixie will be acquired for Rs 1,334 though the market price is Rs 2,500. Similarly, wet grinders will be acquired for Rs 3,045 (Rs 3,700) each; and fans for Rs 1,065 (Rs 1,350) each.

However, there will be no compromise on quality, says Mr V.M. Seshadri, Managing Director of Gandhimathi Appliances, one of the companies to supply these products.

The Government is very particular about the quality of these products. “It has actually issued a 300-page quality guidelines for us.”

According to him, the products will, in fact, be much stronger and sturdier than the ones that are available in the market, and will come with a two-year warranty.

Besides, the Government has also insisted on setting up 320 service centres across the State to take care of the service requirements of the products, he said.

Besides these schemes, the Government has also announced several healthcare initiatives to upgrade primary health centres and modernise hospital facilities.

Some of the other key proposals are the Rs 150-crore health insurance scheme and the proposed conversion of ‘new secretariat building' into a modern hospital complex.

Published on September 14, 2011

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