To improve the livelihood of poor people, the State government should lay focus on agriculture, education and health care sectors instead of distributing freebies such as television, livestock, grinders and mixies, said Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) president S. Ramadoss on Monday.

The 12th shadow budget drafted by PMK has pegged the planned expenditure for the State for 2014-15 at Rs.43,400 crore, of which Rs.15,103 crore representing 34.80 per cent has been earmarked for agriculture and rural development.

Briefing reporters, Dr. Ramadoss said the State government should provide quality seeds, fertilisers, pesticides free of cost to farmers, a tractor per village panchayat and form Agriculture Price Fixation Board to ensure that farmers received best prices for their produce.

To make Tamil Nadu, a power-surplus state, he advocated allocation of nearly Rs.6,000 crore for the energy department, setting up of Power Project Implementation Department and expediting abandoned power projects of 12,000 MW.

From next academic year onwards, the State government should introduce syllabus equivalent to CBSE, ICSE or ISCE in all the schools, fix pass mark for backward classes and most backward classes between 35 and 50 per cent in Teachers Eligibility Test and improve the standards of government hospitals.

“Apart from presenting budget every year, the State government should come out with Action Taken Report, Outcome Budget and Gender Budget. The publication of these reports would lead to favourable investment climate. The Centre has started adopting it. The State might not do it as the schemes implemented by it have not created any impact in the society,” he said.

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