CHENNAI: All eyes will be on Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam as he gets ready to present the budget on Friday. Last year, the budget was devoid of populist measures and emphasis was on infrastructure development while continuing allocations for ongoing welfare and development schemes. He had said outstanding debt at the end of March 2020 was estimated to be around Rs 3,97,495.96 crore.
Recently, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman promised to disburse GST dues to all States in two instalments. As such, the State would get a substantial amount, and this is likely to ease the burden a little. However, allocation for welfare and poverty alleviation schemes cannot be reduced.
Since the government will be facing local body elections soon and Assembly elections in a year, new welfare and popular schemes are likely to be announced in the budget, which will further increase expenditure. Sources said the budget session is likely to last for a week.
The deputy CM will be replying to discussion on the budget and with that, session may be adjourned for a week. During this period, the ministers are likely to hold departmental meetings to decide about the new announcements and on demands for grants.
The session on the demands for departments will take place for a month in March so that parties can concentrate on the local body elections, which is expected in the third and fourth weeks of April. Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam have been paying special attention to the preparation of budget. Special schemes for farmers, employment creation, MSME sector, etc., are likely to be highlights of budget.
Minorities wing meet
Chennai: To discuss the celebration of former CM J Jayalalithaa’s 72 birth anniversary which falls on February 24, AIADMK’S minorities wing organised a meeting. It was chaired by former MP A Anwar Rajah. Discussions were also held on an assurance by PM that no Indians would be affected by CAA and also that CM had assured that the State won’t allow it if affected Muslims of TN