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 main high light of the 2017-18 TN budget: 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.
Other highlights of the budget
• 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.
Plan and Allocations
• 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.
• Fishing harbour: Mookaiyur in Ramanathapuram district will get new fishing harbour. On the other hand, the fishing ban compensation was raised to Rs 5000.
• Animal husbandry department: It saw an allocation of Rs 1161 crore.
• Aavin milk production unit: A new milk production unit will be developed in Madurai at an expense of Rs 40 crore. This unit will be involved in the production of the flavoured milk under brand Aavin.
• Drip irrigation scheme: It will be used to encourage sugarcane cultivation.
• Refugee welfare fund (Sri Lankan refugees): Rs 116 crore was allocated.
• Eradication of poverty in rural and urban areas: Rs 469 crore and Rs 272 crore was allotted respectively.
• Tamil Nadu Rural Transformation Project: It will be undertaken in 127 rural districts with a fund of Rs 1000 crore from World Bank.
• Rs 116 crore allocated to Information Technology department.
• Rs 2192 crore was allocated to transport department.
• Rs 160 crore allotted to widen state Highways and Rs 3156 crore was allocated for maintenance of the road infrastructure. On the other hand, Rs 100 crore was allocated under the Highways safety fund.
• Rs 165 crore allocated to youth welfare and sports ministry.
• Rs 1010 crore allocated to Labour welfare department.
• 3.5 lakh plots of land will be given to economically weaker sections.
In addition to these, 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.