Students of special schools to get grant of Rs.2,000 each

Finance Minister K.M. Mani announced in the Assembly on Thursday schools for mentally challenged children would be paid grant at Rs.2,000 for each student.

Replying to the general debate on the Budget 2012-13, the Minister said that there were 267 such schools with a total strength of 17,000 children in the State. The scholarship for Muslim girls would be increased from Rs.125 to Rs.500. Rupees 25 crore would be set apart for granting scholarships to students belonging to other backward classes.

He said that the welfare pensions for traders would be increased by Rs.100 a month. Depending on the class of traders, the increased pension would now range from Rs.500 to Rs.1,000 a month. Rupees 1 crore had been earmarked as grant to the Traders Welfare Fund Board for this.

The salary of teachers working in kindergartens under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Department would be increased from Rs.1,000 to Rs.3,000 a month. The pay of ayahs would be hiked from Rs.500 to Rs.1,500. There would also be an increase in feeding allowance.

Land acquisition

The Minister said that he was allocating Rs.25 crore for acquisition of land for widening of the highway between Karamana and Kaliyikkavila in Thiruvananthapuram district. Rupees 5 crore would be provided for building an underpass at Samkranti in Kottayam and Rs.1 crore for the Mannuthi-Thrissur-Amala Nagar bypass.

Rupees 5 crore would be allocated for the Attukal Township in Thiruvananthapuram and Rs.6 crore for the Niravu scheme for integrated agriculture development. Rupees 3 crore would be set apart for the Centre for Academic Studies.

He earmarked Rs.10 core for providing subsidy for the proposed grid connected solar system. Rupees 25 lakh was provided for taking up preliminary works for a fish landing centre at Valiathura in Thiruvananthapuram. Rupees 1 crore each was allocated for health insurance for journalists and anti-liquor campaigns.

The Minister also announced allocations for the Moyinkutty Vydiar Memorial, Edasseri Govindan Nair Memorial (Kuttippuram) and Varappuzha Pappan Memorial.

He said the decision to write off interest on educational loans taken between 2003 and 2009 would cover unemployed persons in BPL as well as APL families. The Centre had taken a decision to write off interest on education loans taken after 2009.

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