The State's food subsidy has again been set at Rs.4,000 crore for 2011-2012.

In 2009-2010, the State government had fixed the same amount. When the State budget for 2010-2011 was presented in March last year, the original provision was Rs.3,750 crore. The government later decided to raise it by Rs.200 crore.

The State government has been implementing the scheme of providing rice at Re.1 a kg through the public distribution system and the supply of commodities, including toor dhall, black gram and fortified palm oil.

Presenting the interim budget in the Assembly, Finance Minister K. Anbazhagan said that since 2007, 3.32 lakh tonnes of toor dal, 1.74 lakh tonnes of black gram and 3.62 lakh kilolitres of palm oil were sold through fair price shops under the scheme of special PDS.

“Because of the effective functioning of the public distribution system, food security is ensured in this State to all sections of society,” the Minister said.

The Minister referred to the revised project cost of the Secretariat-Assembly complex which has been put at Rs.1,092 crore.

New components

When pointed out that the Governor's address to the Assembly last month had mentioned the cost as Rs.910 crore, Principal Secretary (Finance) K. Shanmugam later told reporters that new components such as Kalaivanar Arangam and the provision for the Legislative Council chamber had contributed to the revision. The project cost included the cost of construction of two blocks.

When the project was announced in 2007, administrative sanction was given for Rs.200 crore, which was for only one block.

In October 2008, the cost was revised to about Rs.425 crore. For the other block, the government had additionally sanctioned around Rs.280 crore.

On the number of dwelling units completed under the Kalaignar Housing Scheme, Mr. Shanmugam said that approximately 60,000 houses in villages had been built. For the current year, the target fixed was three lakh houses. The allocation for 2011-2012 included construction of 50,000 houses in town panchayats too.

A total of 3.5 lakh huts would be converted into concrete houses.

The Finance Minister said that under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, 66.48 crore mandays had been generated with a disbursement of Rs.5,237 crore in the last five years.

He said that in the coming financial year, 1,000 temples would be renovated at a cost of Rs.100 crore and consecration performed.

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