Tamil Nadu

Free bus travel for women not ‘freebie’ but “economic revolution”, says Stalin

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin chairs the third meeting of the State Planning Commission in Chennai on August 12, 2022.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin chairs the third meeting of the State Planning Commission in Chennai on August 12, 2022. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The scheme launched by the Tamil Nadu government to provide free bus travel for working women in government buses on select routes should not be narrowly categorised as "freebies" but an "economic revolution", which helped their families save between 8 and 12 of their income, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin said on Friday.

During his speech in the third meeting of the State Planning Commission since it was reconstituted last year, Mr. Stalin pointed out that over 80% of the beneficiaries of the free bus travel for women in scheme were from Backward Classes and Adi Dravidar communities and was a feature of the 'Dravidian Model'.

"So, this scheme should benefit more poor and the downtrodden. The extent to which the scheme has benefitted their livelihood has to be further identified," Mr. Stalin said. He also called upon the Commission to identify ways to avoid any gaps in other schemes such as Public Distribution System, Makkalai Thedi Maruthuvam and Illam Thedi Kalvi.

"The Commission should analyse both the pluses and minuses of all schemes and inform the government. Besides planning, the Commission should also function as a monitoring agency," Mr. Stalin, also the ex-officio chairperson of the Commission said.

Mr. Stalin also requested the Commission to soon finalise the policies it is drafting on medical services, social welfare, employment and environment, among others. The Commission is set to provide the government, policies it has drafted for electric vehicles, Industry 4.0, MSMEs, yarn, handlooms and tourism sectors, he said.

SPC Vice-Chairperson J. Jeyaranjan, Chief Secretary V. Irai Anbu, full-time and part-time members of the Commission and senior officials were also present.

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2022 4:03:09 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/free-bus-travel-for-women-not-freebie-but-economic-revolution-says-stalin/article65761333.ece