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Kamal Haasan Says TN Budget Is A Disaster, Memes Criticise Govt

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Kamal Haasan At The 'Maiam Whistle' App Launch

Actor-politician Kamal Haasan has slammed the AIADMK government for not announcing any significant initiative for farmers, youngsters, weavers and fisher folk as a part of the budget for the upcoming year in Tamil Nadu.

In a statement, Kamal Haasan said that the amount allocated for Gaja relief was meager, and most of their schemes were a copy of the previous years’ announcements.

He said that assessments made by him and his party Makkal Needhi Maiam, showed that funds allocated were insufficient for the Gaja relief work. And when more than half the population was dependent on agriculture, allocation for agriculture was only 5 percent of the total budget.

He further said that the budget has not assessed the requirement for funds for water-related problems and unemployment. He accused the government of corruption, and demanded reports on the status of previous years’ projects and investments.

He particularly asked for a white paper on what was done with the last two years’ funds allocated for Kudimaramath, the practice used to rejuvenate water bodies. He asked why the same amount of Rs 300 crore was allocated again this year.

On unemployment among people below 25 years, he said that as per employment exchange data there were close to one crore people without jobs. Yet the budget stated that in the last year only 82,064 youth had been skilled.

An allocation of funds for local body elections, which was not conducted in the last three years, was an insult to the constitution and its people, he said. He further accused the government for not tackling the rising debt in the state.

DMK president Stalin also called the budget “useless”, and said it did not address the problems of the unemployed and was only considering waiving the interests and not loans itself. VCK chief Thol Thirumavalavan said that the budget had no schemes to improve higher education in the state.

Ahead of the 2019 parliamentary elections, the state budget was announced by Deputy Chief Minister O Paneerselvam on Friday. Paneerselvam said that the delay in release of the state’s GST from the centre, which amounts to Rs 5,454 crore, was mainly adding to Tamil Nadu’s increasing debt.

The budget estimated the coming year’s revenue deficit to be Rs 14,315 crore, lower than Rs 19,319 crore from 2018-2019. The reduction in deficit is expected to be because of the phasing out of the Ujwal Yojna, or Uday scheme, and pay revision impact.

Rs 10,550.85 crore was allocated for the agriculture sector, which is an increase by Rs 1,634.6 crore from last year. Rs 82,673.22 crore was allocated for various welfare schemes, including agricultural loans and an interest waiver on crop loans.

At a cost of Rs 1,700 crore, one lakh concrete houses have been promised to be built in cyclone Gaja affected areas. Rs 25 crore was announced support NGOs in starting new schools in tribal areas for the benefit of students. Rs 12,563.83 crore was for Health and Family Welfare Department.

Among other highlights, Rs 2,000 crore was allocated for a comprehensive parking management project in Chennai. Rs 2,681 crore was allocated for the extension of Chennai metro rail project. A solid waste management project for Chennai was promised.

Since the announcement of the budget, people have been criticising the government for not implementing any substantial scheme outside Chennai, particularly for farmers, and not announcing any power project. The big question was how the government was planning to tackle its increasing debt.

Memes on social media criticising both the centre and Tamil Nadu have been trending.

 

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