Tamil Nadu has been least hit by inflation, because of the good governance of Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, asserted K. Ponmudy, Higher Education Minister.

He was speaking at a function held at Kalaignar Arivalayam here (the first official function to be held in the hall after it was declared open by Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on March 9) to give away identity cards and financial assistance to the members of the construction workers' welfare board on Sunday.

He further said that since Mr. Karunanidhi had spent his 72 years of political life amidst the economically weaker sections in the rural and urban areas he was fully acquainted with their problems. Hence, he could launch many a scheme for improving their lot.

Mr. Ponmudy underscored the point that in extending the helping hand through various welfare schemes, such as giving away free colour television sets and free cooking gas connections the Chief Minister did not distinguish or discriminate the people on political lines.

More welfare boards

In fact, Mr. Karunanidhi was spending the tax revenue for the betterment of the society. When Mr. Ponmudy held the Labour portfolio in 2000 the then Chief Minister (Mr. Karunanidhi) created 13 welfare boards.

However, the erstwhile Jayalalithaa government that had announced its intention to merge all the 13 welfare boards into a single entity had not done any such thing.

At present the number of welfare boards had gone up to 31, he said.

The Minister noted that Mr. Karunanidhi was known for taking immediate decision and not hasty decision on issues of public concern.

For instance, the Chief Minister had made provision for the unorganised workers to obtain diplomas from the polytechnic colleges and 10 community colleges run by universities.

In Villupuram district 1,21,238 workers were registered with the welfare boards and of them 12,257 had obtained assistance to the tune of Rs.4.82 crore and in today's function aid worth Rs.1.50 crore was disbursed to 2,758 beneficiaries, he said.

In the past four years the Villupuram district had got several facilities such as the new bus stand, integrated Collectorate complex, two government engineering colleges, one government medical college, a government arts college at Thiruvennainallur and a government polytechnic at Thirukkoilur.

IT Park

Conceding his request the Chief Minister had agreed to establish an Information Technology Park in Villupuram, Mr. Ponmudy added. Construction Workers' Welfare Board president Pon Kumar said that so far a sum of Rs.71 crore was disbursed through the board.

Collector In-charge N. Venkatachalam, MLAs T. Udayasuryan, S. Pushparaj, K. Thirunavukkarasu and A. Angaiyarkanni, Municipal Chairman R. Janakaraj participated.