TN Budget 2024 Highlights: State govt focuses on welfare and higher education

Tamil Nadu’s budget for the financial year 2024-25 was presented on Monday, February 19 by Finance Minister Thangam Thenarasu.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin and Finance Minister Thangam Thenarasu.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin and Finance Minister Thangam Thenarasu.
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Tamil Nadu’s budget was presented on Monday, February 19 by Minister for Finance, Planning, Human Resources Management Thangam Thenarasu. The state budget focuses on welfare with several new schemes launched such as Vada Chennai Valarchi Thittam that will focus on the development of North Chennai. Existing successful schemes such the Chief Minister’s Breakfast Scheme and the Vidiyal Payana Thittam that ensures free travel for women in state buses (ordinary fare) have been further extended. Here are the highlights from the Tamil Nadu budget 2024-25. 

 Budget Highlights: 

  1. Vada Chennai Valarchi Thittam announced for developing North Chennai at an estimated cost of Rs 1,000 crore. 

  2. The Chief Minister’s Breakfast Scheme would be extended to government-aided schools in rural areas for the benefit of around 2.5 lakh students enrolled from classes one to five.

  3. The free bus travel scheme for women would be extended to hilly regions such as Nilgiris, Kodaikanal and Valparai. 

  4. Kalaignarin Kanavu Illam scheme has been introduced to make Tamil Nadu ‘hut-free’ by 2030. A total of Rs 3,500 crore has been earmarked for the project, and eight lakh houses would be built in rural areas. 

  5. The Moovalur Ramamirtham Ammaiyar Puthumai Penn scheme that provides financial assistance of Rs 1000 each month to girl students pursuing higher education has been extended. Girl students from government-aided Tamil medium schools will also benefit from this scheme. 

  6. Tamizh Pudhalvan, has been announced to help boy students from marginalised backgrounds pursue higher education at an outlay of Rs 360 crore

  7. The ‘Chief Minister’s Thayumanavar scheme’ has also been announced to rescue five lakh families from poverty in the next two years. The budget has allocated Rs 27,922 crore for the purpose.

  8. A new scheme Tholkudi would be introduced to improve the living standards of tribal communities at an estimated cost of Rs 1,000 crore.

  9. Rs 13,720 crore has been allocated for Kalaignar Urimai Thogai, introduced by the Tamil Nadu government in 2023-24 fiscal year.

  10. Educational expenses including tuition and hostel fees of transgender students to be covered by Tamil Nadu government. An additional allocation of Rs 2 crore has been made to the state’s Transgender Welfare Board. 

  11. Rs 2 crore to be allocated for development of Tamil language

  12. Rs 5 crore for archaeological excavations in eight locations across Tamil Nadu: Keezhadi, Vembakottai, Porpanaikottai, Keelnamandi, Tirumalapuram, Konkalnagar, Marungur, Chennanur; and four sites outside Tamil Nadu.

  13. A pilot study will be conducted to explore deep-sea excavation at a budget of Rs. 65 lakhs in partnership with the National Institute of Ocean Technology and the Indian Maritime University. This study will focus on the coastal areas of Korkai of Thoothukudi district and Alagankulam of Ramanathapuram district, which were once the ports of the Pandya Civilisation. 

  14. 5,000 water bodies in Tamil Nadu to be restored through community participation at an estimated cost of Rs 500 crore.

  15. The Tamil Nadu government has earmarked Rs 3,300 crore for Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee (MGNREGA) Act  

  16. Rs 500 crore additional funds to be allocated for Singara Chennai project. Government had already allocated Rs 1,500 crore so far.

  17. A sum of Rs. 5 crore would be allocated to offer financial assistance to firms which engage in the development of AI, machine learning and large language models tailored for Tamil language. 

  18. New ‘Thozhi’ hostels to be established for women in Chennai, Coimbatore and Madurai at an estimated cost of Rs 26 crore. 

  19. New classrooms to be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 1,000 crore. Of this, 15,000 smart classes to be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 300 crore. 

  20. A film city to be established at Poonamallee near Chennai at a cost of Rs 500 crore.

  21. Adyar canal to be renovated at a cost of Rs. 1500 crore 

  22. The Tamil Nadu government will set up four olympic academies at Chennai, Madurai, Trichy and Nilgiris. Rs. 440 crore has been allocated for the Youth welfare and Sports

  23. Rs 120 crore has been allocated to promote SC/ST entrepreneurs under the Annal Ambedkar Business Champions Scheme.

  24. Rs 10 crore allocated to repair mosques, dargahs. Another Rs 10 crore has been earmarked for repair and renovation of churches in Chennai, Sivagangai and Cuddalore.

  25. A bill to establish 'Tamil Nadu State Highways' would be introduced later in this Assembly session

  26. Kalaignar International Convention Centre to be constructed in Muttukadu in Chennai

  27. New Tamil Nadu House in New Delhi named ‘Vaigai’ to be established at a cost of Rs 257 crore. The building will follow traditional Dravidian architectural design.

  28. 10 mini textile parks to be established in Karur, Erode and Virudhunagar at Rs 20 crore

  29. 500 electric buses to be acquired by the Tamil Nadu government for a sustainable future.

After Justice Chandru’s scathing report on the condition of juvenile homes for children in conflict with the law, the state government has said it will implement necessary reforms. The Directorate of Social Defence is to be renamed Department of Children Welfare and Special Services. Additional posts including that of child protection officers are to be created.

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