No funding hitch seen for new housing scheme

Leader of the opposition and AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa coming out of the Assembly in Chennai. Photo: K.V. Srinivasan

Leader of the opposition and AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa coming out of the Assembly in Chennai. Photo: K.V. Srinivasan   | Photo Credit: K.V. Srinivasan

The State government would find the resources needed to build houses for the rural poor just as it had made provision earlier to supply rice at Re. 1 a kg, Finance Minister K. Anbazhagan told the Assembly on Monday.

The Minister was reacting to Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary and Leader of Opposition Jayalalithaa’s poser to the government during the debate on the motion of thanks to the Governor’s address, on the scheme. Noting that the cost of covering all 21 lakh houses would be Rs. 12,600 crore, she wanted to know how the funds would come.

Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, in his reply later, said the allocation could be made from each year’s budget. “It’s no big thing to allocate Rs.12,600 crore over a six-year period for this scheme.”

In her hour-long speech, Ms. Jayalalithaa persisted with her criticism of the delay in rendering medical assistance to Sub-Inspector R. Vetrivel, who was killed by an armed gang in Tirunelveli district last week. To this, Health Minister M.R.K. Panneerselvam asked her what she did when several people died during the Mahamaham festival [in 1992].

On the land distribution scheme, the AIADMK leader adverted to the DMK’s assurance in the 2006 Assembly elections that 55 lakh acres of wasteland would be distributed to the poor. But the Governor’s address mentioned that only about 2 lakh acres had been given.

Responding to this, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi said the figure of 55 lakh acres was taken from the Budget presented by the previous AIADMK regime. However, this was corrected the following year.

Pointing out that 62 lakh youths had registered themselves with employment exchanges, Ms. Jayalalithaa said unemployment allowance was being given only to about 3.5 lakh persons. She asked the government when it was going to give the allowance to the rest. Higher Education Minister K. Ponmudy replied that the allowance was provided only to those who remained jobless for five years after earning their degrees.

When the AIADMK leader demanded the withdrawal of the government order on recruiting retired staff to two lakh vacancies, Mr. Anbazhagan replied that no government order stated so many vacancies that would be filled by retired staff members. For vacancies where fresh recruits and trained candidates were not available, retired staff would be hired on a temporary basis, the Minister added.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 5:25:04 PM |

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