Special Correspondent

VILLUPURAM: The benefits of the Anaithu Grama Anna Marumalarchi Thittam will be extended to town panchayats in the State, Local Administration Minister M.K. Stalin said on Saturday.

At a function got up to lay the foundation for a medical college at Mundiampakkam, he said the Government had earlier planned to cover 12,618 village panchayats under the scheme over five years.

Each panchayat was given Rs. 20 lakh for development. For the town panchayats, the amount was fixed at Rs. 35 lakh. The 561 town panchayats in the State would be covered in phases. Of the 15 town panchayats in Villupuram district, four had been identified for the scheme this year.

A frontrunner

Mr. Stalin said Villupuram was a frontrunner in the implementation of the scheme. It had set an example for coordination between the district administration and the local Minister, he said after inspecting the field works at Perangiyur, Veliampakkam and Salai Agaram.

He said there was no need for any section to be apprehensive about the free colour television scheme. It had been proposed to distribute television sets to all eligible ration cardholders in phases.

There was no discrimination in the distribution.

Mr. Stalin gave away assistance worth Rs. 21.60 crore under various schemes to 19,387 beneficiaries.

Earlier, at a function organised by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Mr. Stalin disbursed a financial assistance of Rs.10, 000 to 100 party functionaries who were in penury.

It had been decided to give away Rs. 2,000 to the functionaries at the union level.