The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam government brought cheer to south Tamil Nadu on Thursday with the announcement of a special package for industrial development in the annual budget presented to the Assembly by Finance Minister O. Panneerselvam.

The Finance Minister said the government would soon come out with a special package of incentives for encouraging investments for the development of the industrially backward southern districts. This, he said, was expected to trigger creation of jobs and economic development in the southern region. The government would also give a push to the development of the Madurai-Tuticorin industrial corridor during 2013-14. The project is a significant component of Vision 2023 Document unveiled by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa for the overall development of Tamil Nadu. The document envisages an investment of Rs. 15 lakh crore in 10 years in agriculture, irrigation, urban infrastructure and transport sectors and in development of human capital.

It has been proposed to create four manufacturing regions, one agri-business region, two business investment regions, a special tourism zone, one rural tourism hub and one knowledge hub in the Madurai-Tuticorin corridor. This, Mr. Panneerselvam said, would attract investments to the tune of Rs 1.9 lakh crore over 10 years.

Another gift to south Tamil Nadu was the formation of a ship building yard at Tuticorin by the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation under public-private partnership.

The Finance Minister announced the creation of a fish processing park in Ramanathapuram district and upgrading of Tuticorin fishing harbour.

An allocation of Rs. 214.54 crore was made for the major combined water supply schemes in eight districts, including Madurai, Virudhunagar and Sivaganga.

A regional cancer centre would come up at the Tirunelveli medical college hospital. A similar centre has already been sanctioned for the Government Rajaji hospital, Madurai.

Work on the long awaited flyovers to minimise traffic congestion in Madurai city is to take off during 2013-14 at Goripalayam and Kaalavaasal. The project is estimated to cost Rs. 130 crore.

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