The government has announced free distribution of ingredients for making sweet pongal on the eve of the Pongal festival as was done last year.

Making a suo motu statement in the Assembly on Thursday, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi said all ration card holders were eligible to receive the ingredients as a gift for the Tamil New Year.

The Chief Minister said the gift packet would contain raw rice and jaggery half kg each, 100 gram broken green gram, 10 gram cashew, 5 gram raisin and 5 gram cardamom.

Mr. Karunanidhi said the packets would be distributed from January 1, 2011.

The free distribution of ingredients cost the government Rs. 70 crore last year.