CM announces Pongal bonanza: Rs 2,500 in cash, gift hampers

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(Eds: Adding quotes) Salem, Dec 19 (PTI): Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Saturday announced Pongal bonanza of Rs 2,500 in cash and gift hamper to all the 2.6 crore rice ration cardholders in the state to celebrate the harvest festival.

Pongal is celebrated across the state with much fervour in January to usher in the auspicious Tamil month 'Thai' when marriages are conducted and new business ventures initiated.

The government was giving away the cash and the gift hamper to enable 'all Tamils celebrate Pongal in all homes in a grand manner,' he said, adding people have been affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic while those in the Cauvery delta districts are reeling from the effects of the recent cylones and floods.

The cash as well as the Pongal gift bag would be distributed through the fair price shops from January 4, 2021 onwards, the Chief Minister said while speaking at Irupali in the district.

This year, the government has given Rs 1,000 and a gift hamper containing ingredients used in making sweet Pongal.

Prior to the distribution of the goodies at fair price shops, the government would issue tokens to beneficiaries at their doorstep, specifying the date and time for obtaining the gift hampers.

'The rice ration cardholders will be provided one kg each of raw rice and sugar, 20 grams of cashew and raisins, 8 gms of cardamom besides a sugarcane. These will be neatly wrapped in a cloth bag,' Palaniswami said, adding this time the government would give away a whole sugarcane not just a piece as was the practice in the past. PTI JSP SA NVG NVG