Tamil Nadu seeks over Rs.180,000 crore for free laptops, other schemes

June 14th, 2011 - 10:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Chennai, June 14 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa Tuesday asked the central government for financial assistance amounting to Rs.182,402.18 crore for various schemes to be implemented by her government, including the poll promise of free laptops for students.

Jayalalithaa, who met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the capital Tuesday, submitted a memorandum to him, detailing various schemes and the funds needed from the central government for implementing these.

According to the memorandum, copies of which were released to the media here, the sum sought includes a special assistance of Rs.100,000 crore towards debt relief and Rs.40,000 crore as a bailout package for Tamil Nadu Electricy Board (TNEB)’s subsidiary, Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited (TANGEDCO).

The state government has also asked Rs.20,000 crore for improving urban infrastructure in Tamil Nadu and Rs.10,200 crore for giving away cost-free laptops to school and college students.

The memorandum has asked for the union government’s assistance for implementing schemes like the mono rail, solar powered housing lighting, improved road network, purchase of essential items at market rates and selling these to the pubic through public distribution system (PDS) at subsidised rates, and other schemes.

According to the state government, the slow economic recovery and heavy salary and pension burden after the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission’s recommendations and the resultant financial strain have increased the revenue and fiscal deficits of Tamil Nadu.

“As a result, within the last five years, the outstanding debt of the state has almost doubled from Rs.57,475 crore in 2005-06 to Rs.1,01,541 crore in 2010-11,” the memorandum notes.

It said the government wanted to achieve the targets of zero revenue deficit and sub-three percent fiscal deficit by the end of current financial year and is implementing various “new welfare and development schemes” to take the state on the path of sustainable economic development.

“Hence, the government of India may extend a Special Assistance of Rs.1,00,000 crore as grant to reduce the debt level of the state, besides extending necessary financial support for the schemes implemented by the state,” the memorandum notes.

Blaming the open market purchase of power to meet the demand in the state, the Tamil Nadu government said the accumulated losses of TANGEDCO have gone up from Rs.4,900 crore in 2005-2006 to Rs. 38,000 crore as on March 31, 2011.

“Similarly, its outstanding debt level has gone up from Rs.9,300 crore in 2005-06 to Rs.40,300 crore in 2010-11,” the memorandum said.

It said the present crisis of is alarming and may cause a complete breakdown in the government’s functioning and asked a bail-out package of Rs.40,000 crore to wipe out its debt burden.

The state government also asked for Rs.107.36 crore for strengthening its coastal security; Rs.245 crore for improving fishing infrastructure; Rs.4,650 crore for inter-linking of rivers and developing inland water ways.

It wanted Rs.518 crore as subsidy for the PDS; Rs.2,300 crore for improving the health care facilities; Rs.450 crore assistance for farm mechanisation; Rs.1,125 crore for providing solar powered houses for poor; Rs.2,556.82 crore towards various pension schemes, and Rs.300 crore for providing solar power for 100,000 houses per year in the state.

It also sought “substantial assistance” for setting up 10 solar energy parks to generate 3,000 MW, estimated to cost Rs.45,000 crore and the monorail project, estimated to cost Rs.16,650 crore.

Tamil Nadu has also asked the central government for Rs.4,600 crore as the normal central assistance (NCA) with a grant component of Rs.2,300 crore.

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