TN CM launches COVID-19 relief hamper distribution, second payout

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(Eds: Adds details) Chennai, Jun 3 (PTI) The distribution of COVID-19 relief hamper, containing 14 essential commodities including wheat and sugar to beneficiaries was launched here on Thursday by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin.

Also, he inaugurated the disbursal of the second installment, under the Rs 4,000 cash assistance plan to help people whose livelihoods were affected due to the pandemic and the resultant curbs.

Stalin gave away the cash assistance of Rs 2,000, which is the second instalment and a bag containing the commodities to 10 families at the Secretariat here marking the launch of the initiatives on the 97th birth anniversary of former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Thursday.

The two initiatives are aimed at benefitting over 2.09 crore rice category ration card holders spread across Tamil Nadu and the first instalment of Rs 2,000 was disbursed last month through Public Distribution System shops.

In its manifesto for the April 6 Assembly polls, the DMK had promised Rs 4,000 cash assistance to people and after Stalin took over as the Chief Minister, he launched the scheme on May 10.

The second instalment disbursal, like the first, would cost the exchequer Rs 4,196.38 crore and the distribution of 14 essential commodities, Rs 844.51 crore, the government said in an official release.

The pandemic relief pack contains a kilo each of wheat, salt and rava and half kilo each of sugar and urad dhal.

Tamarind and Bengal gram 250 grams each and mustard, cumin, turmeric and chilli powders, all 100 gram each are part of the pack.

Two tea packets (total 200 grams), a bathing soap and a bar of detergent also find a place in the bag.

Minister for Cooperation, I Periyasamy, Food Minister R Sakkarapani, Chief Secretary V Iraianbu were present.

Later, marking the inauguration of the Rs 4,000 cash assistance scheme for about 14,000 temple workers including priests, Stalin handed over the cash assistance to 12 people from various shrines.

Besides the cash component, the scheme includes 10 kilo rice and 15 kinds of grocery items to each of the workers.

The Chief Minister gave cheques of Rs 25 lakh each, to the kin of two medical doctors who died serving COVID-19 infected people.

Stalin also ordered an incentive of Rs 5,000 to each of the 1,17,184 police personnel (from the rank of grade II police constable to inspector) recognising their hardwork during the first and second waves of the coronavirus pandemic.

Under the 'Chief Minister in your Constituency' initiative, Stalin gave away free house site pattas to two women beneficiaries from Kancheepuram, self-employment loan sanction order to the tune of Rs 12 lakh to a beneficiary belonging to Krishnagiri district and Rs one lakh education loan to a Dharmapuri based man.

The CM also gave away orders to eight others which includes those for creating basic amenities and infrastructure related initiatives.

Under the CM-Constituency initiative, of the 4.20 lakh petitions received, grievances found in 3,750 of them have been fully addressed, a release said adding over 54,000 petitions are under different stages of consideration.

These petitions were received by Stalin during his 'Ungal Thoguthiyil Stalin' (Stalin in your constituency) campaign for the April 6 Assembly polls from people across Tamil Nadu and he had assured redressing grievances within 100 days of assuming power.

The DMK party tagline of 'Stalin in your constituency' has been rechristened 'Chief Minister in your constituency.' With Stalin assuming office as CM on May 7, a separate division was created by the government to scrutinise pleas and address grievances. PTI VGN ROH ROH