Jayalalithaa takes first step in fulfilling poll promises

Govt. shuts down 500 TASMAC outlets; 100 units of free power from today

May 23, 2016 07:16 pm | Updated November 29, 2021 01:25 pm IST - Chennai

Waiver of crop loans

The Government, in a press release, said it would waive off short-term and long-term crop loans sanctioned by cooperative society to small and micro farmers. The Government said it would incur an additional expenditure of Rs. 5,780 crore. The previous Government had sanctioned interest-free crop loan to the tune of Rs. 20,786 crore to 46.44 lakh farmers.

8 grams for 'mangalsutra'

Jayalalithaa had also announced a 'mangalsutra' worth eight grams of gold would be given to women. In 2009, the then Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin had urged Tamilians to choose Tamil names for their children. A committee consisting of Tamil teachers had been appointed to scrutinise the names of babies before distribution of the rings. When the previous Government assumed office in May 2011, the scheme was redesigned to provide four grams of gold coins for making the Mangalsutra (thali) and enhanced the financial assistance to Rs.25,000 for those who have passed plus two and Rs.50,000 for graduates.

Phased prohibition

Prohibition was the key promise by almost all parties this elections. During her campaign, Ms.Jayalalithaa had promised phased prohibition while DMK had promised complete ban of liquor if brought to power. As soon as she took the oath of office, she announced the closure of 500 TASMAC shops in the state and changed the working timings of shops from 12 noon to 10 pm.

A look at the numbers behind liquor sale in Tamil Nadu:

With 46.7 per cent of males reporting that they consume alcohol, the State is sixth on a list of 17 States and Union Territories surveyed for NFHS 2015-2016. The last round of NHFS had recorded that 41.5 per cent of Tamil Nadu’s men consume alcohol, against the national average of 32 per cent; the latest round has an average of 39.7 per cent for the 17 States and UTs.

According to its website, the TASMAC has 41 depots in five regions and runs over 6,800 retail outlets across the State. The annual revenue of TASMAC stood at Rs. 26,188 crores in FY 2014-15. According to government data, more than 70 lakh people consume liquor every day through TASMAC outlets. In January 2016, the company sold 48.23 lakh cases of liquor.

100 units of free power

Fulfilling another electoral promise, Ms.Jayalalithaa also announced that 100 units of electricity will be provided to households free of cost. “This will benefit everyone; in particular, the 78 lakh domestic users consuming below 100 units will not have to pay any charge,” she had said during the release of AIADMK manifesto. The government will provide a subsidy of Rs. 1607 crore to bear the brunt of the loss towards the execution of this scheme. In the background of the announcement of this scheme, many of her rivals had opposed to the scheme saying that this will increase TANGEDCO’s loss. While PMK founder Ramadoss had earlier stated that the scheme was not feasible, DMK MP Kanimozhi had said that Ms. Jayalalithaa had increased power tariff three times in the past five years.

The Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) is currently reeling under a Rs. 8,000-crore estimated loss. The State has 1.88 crore domestic consumers.

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