On 13th August 2021, Dr. Palanivel Thiaga Rajan, Minister for Finance and Human Resources Management, Government of Tamil Nadu, has presented the Revised Budget for the year 2021-2022 in the Legislative Assembly. For the first time in the history of the Tamil Nadu assembly, a paperless budget was presented. In his maiden Budget speech, Mr. Thiaga Rajan said deeper reforms would be undertaken to ensure that Tamil Nadu’s debt burden was corrected without any delay.
Here are some important announcements made during the budget speech:
Revenue Expenditure: According to the budget presented by the Tamil Nadu Finance Minister, the overall revenue expenditure is expected to be Rs 2,61,188.57 crore. “Revenue deficit for the year 2021-22 is expected to be Rs 58,692.68 crore in the Revised Budget Estimates 2021-22,” he said. The overall capital outlay for the revised budget has been scaled down to Rs 42,180.97 crore from the Rs 43,170.61 crore provided in the Interim Budget. “On this basis, the fiscal deficit for the financial year 2021‑22 is estimated to be at Rs 92,529.43 crore in the Revised Budget Estimates 2021-22,” he added.
Rural Development: At least 55 litres per capita per day of good quality drinking water will be supplied to all the 79,395 habitations in the State. The Minister said the government will ensure that 8,03,924 houseless families in rural areas are provided a house in the next 5 years. Rs 3,548 crore has been provided for the rural housing scheme. Also, Government is set to re-launch the Anna Marumalarchi Thittam with an outlay of Rs.1,200 crore and the Namakku Namae Thittam introduced by Kalaginar at Rs 100 crore.
Public Distribution System: A committee to be formed to identify and set up new PDS shops in required areas. The Minister said the intention of the government is to provide the assistance to homemakers and there is no need to change the name of the head of the household in ration cards.
Irrigation: 1,000 check dams and barrages are planned to be constructed over the next 10 years. The Government is planning to formulate schemes to restore the reservoir capacity for important dams including Mettur, Amaravathi, Vaigai and Pechiparai. Further, the Government is set to launch a special scheme for standardisation of 50 minor irrigation tanks every year starting from 2021-22. “The Extension, Renovation and Modernisation programme of the Grand Anaicut Canal System at a total cost of Rs.2,639.15 crore has been taken up with the assistance from the AIIB.
Fisheries: Kasimedu Fishing Harbour in Chennai to be upgraded at a total cost of Rs 150 crore in association with Chennai Port Trust. A total sum of Rs 433.97 crore has been allocated for construction of fishing harbours and fish landing centres in the Revised Budget Estimates for 2021-22 and Rs 143.46 crore has been allocated for improvement to fish landing facilities. The
overall allocation for the welfare of the fishermen in Tamil Nadu in the Revised Budget Estimates for 2021-22 is Rs 1,149.79 crore.
Environment and Climate Change: Tamil Nadu Government will be launching the ‘Green Tamil Nadu Mission’ to increase the total area under the forest and tree cover in Tamil Nadu to 33 per cent of the land area of the State. As many as 10 beaches across the state are to be upgraded over the next 5 years, with the active support of local bodies to achieve the prestigious Blue Flag Certification. India’s first Integrated Environment Monitoring Studio is also set to be established for forecasting air quality on a real time basis with an early warning system.
State Education Policy and School Education: Government is to appoint a High Level Committee of educationists and experts to formulate a distinct State Education Policy for Tamil Nadu in keeping with the historical legacy, present situation and future aspirations of the State. According to the Minister, the School Education is accorded the highest importance in the budget with an overall allocation of Rs 32,599,54 crore.
The government is determined to bring the state within first three states in terms of learning outcomes in India. The Minister said all teachers will be able to receive technology enabled monitorable and evidence based training through the 40 tablets to be supplied to each of the 413 Blocks at a total cost of Rs 13.22 crore.
The “Ennum Ezhuthum Mission” to ensure foundational literacy and numeracy will be implemented to ensure that by 2025 all students in Tamil Nadu by age 8 are able to read with comprehension and possess basic arithmetic skills. High tech laboratories, smart class rooms to be set up at Government High and Higher Secondary Schools.
Higher Education: 10 new Government Arts and Science Colleges to be set up. The Minister said the decision to make Raja Muthiah Medical College as the Government Medical College for Cuddalore district and Annamalai University an affiliating university for Cuddalore, Villupuram, Kallakurichi and Mayiladuthurai districts will ease the financial crisis of Annamalai University. A total of Rs 5,369.09 crore has been provided in the budget for Higher Education.
Health and Family Welfare: The minister noted that the government had conceptualised and launched the game changing ‘Makklai Thedi Maruthuvam’ scheme with a total outlay of Rs 257.16 crore. The 108 Ambulance Services programme to be expanded to 1,303 vehicles and the quality of services further enhanced. Government is also set to re-establish the Tamil Nadu Siddha University to ensure that Siddha occupies its due place alongside other indigenous systems of medicine.
Public Financial Management: The Government is planning to publish a ‘Citizen’s Budget’ along with the Budget from 2022-23 onwards in simple and non-technical language to encourage greater public understanding and informed debate on Government’s finances.
Co-operative loan waiver: The Government will waive loans to the tune of Rs 2,756 crore due from self help groups to the co-operative credit societies. A provision of Rs 600 crore has been made for this purpose.
Kalaignar Semmozhi award revived: The government will take steps to revive the Central Institute of Classical Tamil in Chennai. The ‘Kalaignar Karunanidhi Semmozhi Tamizh Award’, which has not been presented since 2010, will be given away alongside a cash support of Rs 10 lakh on June 3 every year. The Minister said steps will be taken to make Tamil as the administrative language in all departments. Rs 5 crore has been allocated to carry out archaeological excavations in the state. Keezhadi, Sivakalai and Kodumanal where excavations are carried out will be declared as protected zones.
Petrol price slashed: In a relief to the working class in the state, the Finance Minister said petrol price has been slashed by Rs 3 per litre. The decision is expected to cost Rs 1,160 crore to the state exchequer.
Revamp of old pension scheme: The government will revamp the old pension scheme in the state and expand its coverage to all deserving beneficiaries. An enhanced budget of Rs 4,807.56 is provided for social security pensions.
Allocation for Police Department: Rs 8,930.20 crore was allocated to the Police department and Rs 405.13 crore has ben allocated to the Fire and Rescue Services Department. An Integrated Road Safety Mission will be revamped and the Commissioner of Transport will be re-designated as Commissioner of Transport and Road Safety. The existing Fire Services Act, 1985 will be thoroughly overhauled.
Municipal Administration and Water Supply: 27 cities with a population of above one lakh will be fully covered with underground sewerage systems. An integrated bus stand cum commercial centre will be established in Tiruchirapalli with the financial assistance of TUFIDCO. The Integrated Storm Water Drain Network project in the Kosasthalaiyar River Basin assisted by the Asian Development Bank will be implemented a provision of Rs 87 crore has been allocated in the budget.
Singara Chennai 2.0: ‘Singara Chennai 2.0’ scheme is to be launched with an emphasis on clean and green Chennai. Rs 500 crore has been provided for this scheme. Chennai will become a city without wall posters. New flyovers and over bridges to be constructed at 3 places in the city – Ganesapuram subway, at the intersection of Konnur High Road – Strahans Road and at South Usman Road at an estimated cost of Rs 335 crore. The government has promised to provide underground sewerage systems to all the added areas of Chennai city at a total cost of Rs 2,056 crore. The scheme to prevent outflow of sewage into waterways in Chennai will be vigorously implemented at a total cost of Rs 2,371 crore. A Feasibility Report would be prepared for transmitting Krishna water through pipelines from Andhra Pradesh to the reservoirs of
Chennai. The Chennai City Partnership Programme will be launched with assistance from the World Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank soon.
Housing and Urban Development: The Minister said the Government is aiming to make the state entirely slum free within a period of 10 years. Rs 3,954.44 crore has been allocated for Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board in the Revised Budget.
Highways and Transport: Chief Minister’s Road Development Programme to be launched under which 2,200 KMs of State Highways that connect District Headquarters will be widened to 4 lane roads and 6,700 KMs of single and intermediate lane roads connecting taluk headquarters will be upgraded to double lane highways over the next 10 years. 59 Municipalities which currently do not have bye pass roads will be prioritized for the construction of bye pass roads. Rs 17,899.17 crore has been allocated for the Highways Department.
Energy: The government said it will take measures to increase the power generation capacity in the state to 17,980 MW through own generating stations in the next 10 years. A total of Rs 19,872.77 crore has been allocated towards subsidies to free supply of agricultural power, domestic supply and for takeover of losses of TANGEDCO.
Industries AND MSME: An International Furniture Park to be set up at a cost of Rs 1,000 crore on 1100 acres of land in Thoothukudi district, to attract investment of Rs 4,500 crore and enable employment of 3.5 lakh persons. A Fintech city in Chennai will be developed in 2 phases at Nandambakkam and Kavanur. The first phase will be developed at Nandambakkam at an estimated cost of Rs 165 crore. Tidel parks will be established in Tier II and Tier III towns across Tamil Nadu, and in the first stage at Thoothukudi, Vellore, Tiruppur and at Thiruchitrambalam in Villupuram district. New SIPCOT parks is also set to be created in industrially backward districts such as Thiruvannamalai, Dharmapuri, Tirunelveli, Virudhunagar, Sivagangai, Villupuram, Namakkal, Theni and Nagapattinam.
The Minister said a committee chaired by Retd IAS Officer Dr N Sundaravendan has been formed to study the financial, infrastructural and other issues faced by MSMEs in Tamil Nadu and suggest measures to enable them to thrive. The Government will handhold MSMEs which want to raise equity capital from stock exchanges and the cost of listing, up to Rs.30 lakhs will be borne by the Government. To ensure that MSMEs have faster channels for realization of their dues, all State Public Sector Undertakings, Statutory Boards, Municipal Corporations and apex co-operatives will be mandated to join the Trade Receivables and Discounting Platform (TReDs)
Social Welfare: As part of welfare measures for transgender persons, Rs 1.50 crore has been allocated for the transgender pension scheme, benefiting 1,071 destitute transgender persons. A special provision of Rs.48.48 crore has been provided for upgradation of Anganwadi Centres for the year 2021-22 and Rs 23.33 crore has been allocated for provision of pre-school educational materials. The overall provision for Adi-Dravidar and Tribal Welfare is enhanced to Rs.4,142.33 crore. The Minister said to enhance opportunities for students belonging to Scheduled Castes and
Scheduled Tribes to pursue higher education, the scheme for scholarship to study abroad will be revamped. The scheme for scholarship for Ph.D courses will also be restructured and the scholarship enhanced to Rupees one lakh per annum to benefit more students.
- The Total Revenue Receipts of the State Government, including the Central Transfers, are estimated to be Rs.2,02,495.89 crore in Revised Budget Estimate 2021-22.
- The State‟s Own Tax Revenue (SOTR) is estimated to be Rs.1,26,644.15 crore in the Revised Budget Estimates for 2021-22.
- The State‟s Own Non-Tax Revenue has been estimated at Rs.14,139.01 crore in the Revised Budget Estimates for 2021-22.
- Tamil Nadu‟s share in Central Taxes is estimated at Rs.27,148.31 crore in Revised Budget Estimate 2021- 22 which is based on the estimates in the Union Budget 2021-22.
- The Grants-in-Aid from the Government of India have been estimated at Rs.34,564.42 crore in the Revised Budget Estimate 2021-22 by considering the existing trends and provisions in the Union Budget 2021- 22.
- The Revenue expenditure is estimated at Rs.2,61,188.57 crore in Revised Budget Estimate 2021-22.
- In the Revised Budget Estimates for 2021-22 an amount of Rs.42,180.97 crore has been provided as Capital Expenditure.
- The Revenue Deficit in Revised Budget Estimates 2021-22 is estimated at Rs.58,692.68 crore .
- In Revised Budget Estimate 2021-22, the Fiscal Deficit is estimated at 4.33 per cent of GSDP.
- The Government plans to borrow a net amount of Rs.92,484.50 during 2021-22.