Amma housing scheme to free washing machine: AIADMK’s social welfare promises

However, amid an increasing fiscal deficit, the implementation of the schemes may prove as a challenge.
OPS, EPS, Sengottaiyan and SP velumani
OPS, EPS, Sengottaiyan and SP velumani
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Just after presenting the deficit budget in February, the AIADMK party on Sunday released its 2021 Assembly election manifesto by promising a series of ‘freebies’ or populist welfare schemes, including Amma housing scheme, Amma washing machine and free six gas cylinders for all rice-card holders, and even a waiver on education loans. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam jointly released the manifesto with several populist schemes, which also includes free cable connection and 2GB yearly data for college students.

The AIADMK released the manifesto a day after DMK released its manifesto for the upcoming elections. The DMK party, unlike their big ‘social welfare promise’ in 2016 to give mobile phones to underprivileged families, refrained from announcing major doles. However, AIADMK announced several populist schemes this year too. 

‘Amma housing scheme’ topped their list as the first poll promise in the manifesto. As part of the promise, AIADMK said, “The government will give homes free of cost under the Amma housing scheme for the people who do not own a home. In rural areas, the government will buy land and build concrete homes for people. For those living in the cities, the government will construct apartments and distribute free of cost.”

Under ‘kulavilakku thittam’ (lanterns for generations), the AIAMDMK has promised to give Rs 1,500 for every ration card holder every month “to create an economically equal status in the state.” As part of the scheme, the money will be transferred to the female head of the family.

Incidentally, the promise under ‘kulavikku thittam’ is similar to DMK’s vision to provide Rs 1,000 to ration card holders by transferring the sum to the female head of the family. However, while the AIADMK has included this as a promise in the manifesto, the DMK has released this as part of the vision document for the next 10 years.

In a big promise, the AIADMK has said that the party will provide one government job to families that do not have any government employees.

The AIADMK government has also promised to slash 50% of the ticket for women travelling in city buses. Six free gas cylinders and free solar power gases will be provided to rice-card holders. Farmers will be given Rs 7,500 as a subsidy. Free ‘Amma washing machines’ will also be given to rice-card holders, said the manifesto.

The manifesto also promised to waive education loans, to provide free 2GB data service for one year to college students and free cable connection.

Though AIADMK has promised several populists schemes, the implementation of the schemes with an increasing fiscal deficit may prove a challenge.


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