Hike in pension for freedom fighters, quota for sports persons: TN CM's Independence Day promises

From increasing freedom fighters’ pension to employment quota for medal winning sports persons, key takeaways from Edappadi Palaniswami’s speech.
Hike in pension for freedom fighters, quota for sports persons: TN CM's Independence Day promises
Hike in pension for freedom fighters, quota for sports persons: TN CM's Independence Day promises
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Even as India’s 72nd Independence Day was being celebrated across the country on Wednesday, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami’s speech from the ramparts of Fort St George made promises for sports persons and freedom fighters while recounting the progress of the state across various sectors. The Chief Minister announced that the present government had completed project works to the tune of Rs 22439.92 crores and begun work on plans worth Rs 16680.84 crore.

Here are key takeaways from the speech:

1. Quota for sports persons

The Chief Minister announced a 2 percent sub quota for sports persons who win medals at the state and national level events representing Tamil Nadu and India as well as those who take part in international sports events. The quota would be applicable to certain posts in government and public sector units in the state.

2. Hike in pension for freedom fighters

The Chief Minister also announced a hike in pension for freedom fighters from Rs 13,000 to Rs.15,000 per month while the family pension (given to heirs) for freedom fighters was raised by Rs 1,000 from Rs 6,500 to Rs 7,500.

3. Tamil Nadu tourism

Reiterating the Central government’s finding that Tamil Nadu had fared amongst the top three in Foreign Tourist Visit, Chief Minister revealed that Tamil Nadu had seen 34,50,00,000 domestic tourists and 48,60,000 international tourists over the past year.

However, the state government is yet to set up a state board for eco tourism as promised in 2017. On August 3, the Central government revealed that it had received no proposal for the development of eco tourism circuits from Tamil Nadu.

4. Salary hike for Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation employees

Citing the salary hike given to TNSTC employees following a week long strike by protesting employees over wages, the Chief Minister announced that pending dues to workers had also been paid. While the government and employees reached a compromise at 2.44 percent hike, several trade unions across districts continue to protest the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill. The Bill considers the inclusion of private cab aggregators as well as third party insurance.

5. Forefront of secularism

Further, the Chief Minister also stated that Tamil Nadu was at the forefront of secularism in the country.

An Amnesty International report in July this year pointed to seven instances of hate crimes in the state, placing it fourth in the country. The report- which tracks crimes committed against people based on their caste, religion or ethnicity- cited the incidents of caste-based violence reported from Vellore, Villupuram, Thanjavur, Sivaganga, Madurai and Kanyakumari districts.

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