Climate change, promotion of SC/ST entrepreneurship: TN Budget 2022 highlights


Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Palanivel Thiagarajan said that for the first time in eight years, the revenue deficit will be seeing a decline.

Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Palanivel Thiagarajan presented the state’s Budget for the 2022-23 fiscal in the legislative Assembly hall at Fort St George, and said that for the first time in eight years, the revenue deficit will be seeing a decline. Citing the coronavirus pandemic, the floods and the government action to tackle the situation, he said such aspects had a negative impact on the already stressed state’s finances. 

This was PTR’s second Budget, after he made a Budget speech in 2021 after the DMK came to power. 

The main announcements made:

> School kits: Kits currently provided to government schools which contain things including textbooks and notebooks will be extended to students of classes 1 to 10 in private unaided schools which teach exclusively in Tamil medium. Rs 15 crore budgeted for scheme

> New scheme to support NGOs which take care of abandoned and injured pet animals and strays will be launched. Called the ‘Vallalar Palluyir Kappagangal.’ Rs 20 crore has been allocated

> Chennai flood prevention works: Based on an advisory committee which made recommendations to prevent damage caused by floods, Rs 500 crore allocated

> Disaster early warning systems to be upgraded:  The Finance Minister said the government will establish an advanced early warning system with supercomputers, a system of weather balloons, two weather radars, 100 automatic weather stations, 400 automatic rain gauges and 11 automatic water level instruments and allocated Rs 10 crore for the same. 

> Fund of Rs 50 crore for retrieving and protecting government lands, including water bodies from encroachments

> For social security schemes such as old age pension, destitute widow pension as well as for disabled persons, Rs 4,816 crore allocated

>  ‘Special Social Media Centre to be set up to prevent the crimes resulting out of fake news under the police department

> Seven commercial courts to be set up for the settlement of commercial disputes

> A sum of Rs 2,531 crore for the waiver of agricultural loans, Rs 1,000 crore for the waiver of jewel loans and Rs 600 crore for waiving self-help group loans allocated

> For the Tamil language, the Finance Minister said it is necessary to carry out scientific and etymological studies on the relationship of Tamil with other languages. A committee of Tamil etymologists will be formed to prepare an etymological dictionary, for which Rs 2 crore was allocated. 

> Rs 5 crore allocated for a collection of Periyar’s written works to be published in print and digital editions in 21 Indian and world languages. 

>  Botanical garden to be built near Chennai at a cost of Rs 300 crore in partnership with Kew Gardens of London. Government plans to develop 500 parks “to create public recreational spaces and enhance the quality of life in urban areas”

> A fund will be set up to sponsor climate change initiatives, mitigation and greening projects. To be called the ‘Tamil Nadu Green Climate Change Fund’, but no announcements regarding its size have been made yet

> Rs 10 crore allocated for the protection of the state animal, Nilgiri Tahr

> The government’s remedial education programme ‘Ilam Thedi Kalvi’ to bridge learning losses among children due to closure of schools for the last two years has been allocated Rs 200 crore for the coming fiscal

> Model schools to be established in 15 more districts at a cost of Rs 125 crore

> New scheme to be launched called the ‘Perasiriyar Anbazhagan School Development Scheme’ to modernise government schools (including Adi Dravidar, Tribal and Kallar Reclamation Schools) over the next five years. This will include the construction of new classrooms. Over the time period, Rs 7,000 crore to be allocated

> Government to establish District Central Libraries in the six new districts at an estimated cost of Rs 36 crore in the next two years

> Knowledge City to be developed with plans to have branches of world-renowned universities with research and development hubs, skill training centres and knowledge-based enterprises. Universities in the state to be encouraged to set up research parks on their campuses in collaboration with public sector entities like TIDCO, SIPCOT and TANSIDCO. 

> Over the next 5 years, special scheme to be implemented to create new classrooms, hostels, laboratories and smart classrooms at a total cost of Rs 1,000 crore. 

> Those who have studied in government schools from classes 6 to 12 and aim to go to premier higher education institutions like IIT, IISc and AIIMS, cost of undergraduate education to be borne by the government. 

> Moovalur Ramamirtham Ammaiyar Higher Education Assurance Scheme — to provide female students who have studied from class 6 to 12 in government schools with Rs 1,000 per month during their undergraduate education. This is to be deposited directly into their bank account, and will be in addition to any other scholarships

> To mentor sportspersons, the government will implement a program similar to the Olympic Gold Quest

> 19 government hospitals to be upgraded into new District Headquarter Hospitals at a cost of Rs 1,019 crore

> Tamil Nadu Institute of Mental Health & Neuro Sciences (TNIMHANS) to be established by upgrading the Institute of Mental Health (IMH), Kilpauk

> To promote startups of entrepreneurs from Schedule Caste and Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST) communities, Rs 30 crore allocated to Tamil Nadu Startup and Innovation Mission (TANSIM). “In order to encourage entrepreneurs from SC and ST communities, 5% of all divisible procurement by Government and Governmental agencies shall be reserved for products manufactured by Tamil Nadu based SC and ST entrepreneurs,” the Finance Minister said. 

> Rs 12 crore for the repair and reconstruction of places of worship of minorities including churches, mosques and dargahs. Places of worship such as Wesley Church and St. Thomas Mount Church in Chennai, Caldwell Church in Tirunelveli, St. Xavier Church in Nagercoil, 31 Nawab Wallajah Mosque in Chennai, Ervadi Dargah and Nagore Dargah. 

> For diagnosing and treating disabilities in children at an early age, services of various departments to be integrated. “The government will take steps to coordinate the activities of these departments, facilitate the exchange of information and provide all services to children born with special needs through treatment centres at various levels,” the FM said. 

> 149 Samathuvapurams to be renovated in the first phase, Rs 190 crore allocated

Read: Are Tamil Nadu’s Samathuvapurams losing their sheen?

> 50-metre wide stretch of land adjoining eastern side of the Outer Ring Road (ORR) from Minjur to Vandalur with a length of 62 kms to be developed as a Development Corridor

> Single-window clearance for planning permissions and approvals for construction of buildings, to be implemented by Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA), Directorate of Town and Country Planning, Greater Chennai Corporation, Local Planning Authorities and other local bodies.


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