Chennai, Jan 4 (PTI) Distribution of Rs 2,500 cash assistance to people for the harvest festival 'Pongal' began on Monday in ration shops across Tamil Nadu.
Following issuance of tokens to beneficiaries, the cash assistance was provided to people along with a gift hamper containing ingredients to prepare 'Pongal,' (sweet rice) for the celebrations.
The gift pack, a cloth bag, contains one kilo each of rice and sugar, 20 grams each of cashew nuts and raisins, five grams of cardamom and a full piece of sugarcane.
The government had allotted Rs 5,604.84 crore for the scheme.
Pongal festival is celebrated in Tamil Nadu on January 14 and about 2.06 crore rice category ration card holders are the beneficiaries.
A dhoti and a saree were also given free of cost to beneficiaries under a welfare scheme, for which the government has made an allocation of Rs 484.25 crore.
While Chief Minister K Palaniswami had on December 21 inaugurated the rollout of the scheme by giving away the cash assistance and the gift pack to nine beneficiaries, Ministers, MLAs and other elected representatives presided over the distribution event in their respective regions. PTI VGN APR ADMINISTRATOR APR ADMINISTRATOR