Chennai: Days after it announced in the state budget to launch a comprehensive accident-cum-life insurance scheme for all the below poverty line (BPL) families in Tamil Nadu, the state government on Monday announced to provide a special financial assistance of Rs 2,000 each to about 60 lakh BPL families across Tamil Nadu.
“Considering the impact of Gaja cyclone in many districts and the prevailing drought condition, as well, the government will provide a special assistance to each of the BPL families this year,” Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami told the Assembly on Monday. Making a suo moto announcement he said the proposal was part of the state government’s efforts to ensure inclusive growth.
“The initiative will benefit about 60 lakh BPL families including 35 lakh families in rural areas besides 25 lakh families in urban centres. To facilitate this, an allocation of about Rs 1,200 crore would be included in the supplementary estimates for 2018-19 fiscal,” Mr Palaniswami said.
The list of beneficiaries includes farm labourers, workers in fireworks industry, powerloom and handloom weavers, saltpans and fish workers, besides construction workers among others.
Quoting a Tamil film song, he said late Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa was always concerned about the welfare of people who lived below the poverty line and also economically weaker sections.
Meanwhile, hailing Mr Palaniswami's announcement, PMK founder Dr. S. Ramadoss urged the government to ensure the financial aid for BPL families an annual feature in order to eliminate poverty. "It will be a major milestone in poverty elimination if the state government announces monthly financial aid to such families," Dr Ramadoss told reporters here.
Speaking to reporters here, fisheries minister D. Jayakumar flayed the opposition DMK for criticising the government on the announcement for BPL families and said the gesture was meant to alleviate the conditions of the poor. "The DMK is reacting to the announcement due to fear of defeat in the election. Already, that party went to the court to stop the government's initiative to provide Rs. 2,000 gift during Pongal, in vain. They have always been narrow minded to government's attempts to improve the quality of the lives of the people," Mr Jayakumar added.