Finance Minister of Tamil Nadu, D Jayakumar presented Tamil Nadu budget

D Jayakumar, the Finance Minister of Tamil Nadu, on 16 March 2017 presented the 2017-18 state budget of Tamil Nadu in the assembly. This was his maiden budget presentation. This was also the first budget to be presented by the state government headed by Chief Minister E Palaniswami. In light of the awaited GST implementation, the state has not introduced any new taxes in the budget. The finance minister said that introduction of GST will benefit the state.

The State Planning Commission will be replaced by State Development Policy Council. This council will be responsible for advising the state government on policy coherence and formulation of programmes to guide the development of State.

D Jayakumar announced that 10000 blind people will be provided with smart canes. Disability pension was increased to Rs 2000 from existing Rs 1000. Javvadu hills will have a modern residential school with hostel facilities for teachers. The school will be developed at an expense of Rs 24 crore. The school would benefit the tribal communities of the region. Number of seats in PG medical college was raised to 1362 from 1188.

Laptop Scheme: Rs 758 crore allocated. Anna Daanam scheme: The scheme started by Jayalalithaa will be continued in 265 temples in Tamil Nadu. Free schemes extended to school going children: Rs 758 crore allotted. Scooters at subsidised rates: Rs 200 crore allotted to help 1 lakh, women, to purchase scooters. School infrastructure: Rs 352 crore was allocated for improving the infrastructure of the state.

Public health and family welfare: Rs 10158 crore allotted. Primary Health Centres: 30 new such centres will be developed at an expense of Rs 43.76 crore. Green housing project: Rs 420 crore allocated for building 20000 houses. Urban Swachh Bharat Mission: Rs 600 crore allocated.

Chennai Mega City development mission: Rs 400 crore allocated for finishing infra projects, which was undertaken by the Greater Chennai Corporation. Urban poverty alleviation schemes: Rs 272 crore allocated. 100 days employment scheme in rural areas: Rs 1,000 crore allocated. Medical Park will be developed in Kanchipuram at an expense of Rs 130 crore.

Rural area temples: Rs 1 lakh per temple will be spent to renovate 1000 rural area temples. Tamirabarani-Nambiyaaru River linking project: Rs 300 crore allotted. Kudi Maramathu project: Rs 300 crore allotted. Conservation of Pallikaranai marshland: The work of conservation will be undertaken under the Green Climate Fund.

Crop loan: the state will disburse Rs 7000 crore as crop loan through cooperative banks. In addition to these, D Jayakumar announced that Rs 3042 crore loan from World Bank will be used for conservation of various water bodies. Besides, Rs 3009 crore was allocated to Adi Dravida welfare ministry, while Rs 983 crore was given for BC/MBC welfare.

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