COVID lockdown : Palaniswami unveils Rs 3,280 cr special package, Rs 1,000 for ration card holders

With Tamil Nadu all set for a total lockdown till March 31 to tackle the spread of coronavirus, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami today announced a Rs 3,280 crore relief package to various sections of the people, including Rs 1,000 to every ration card holder in the state. 

Making a Statement Under Rule 100 in the State Assembly,along with Rs 1,000, free rice, sugar, oil and dhal would be given to the cardholders for the month of April. With a view to avoid crowding in fair price shops,token system would be introduced to distribute the relief package to the cardholders on the notified dates. 

Those who missed purchasing ration items in the month of March, could get them in April also, Mr Palaniswami said. He said since the lockdown under Sec 144 of CrPc would come into force in the state from this evening, various sections of the people including daily wage labourers, auto and taxi drivers, construction and unorganised sector workers, roadside vendors would be affected. 

''Considering their difficulties, the government decided to provide a Rs 3,280 crore special relief package for them'', he added. Accordingly, families of construction workers and auto drivers registered with the welfare boards would be given Rs 1,000, 15 kg rice and one kg each of dhal and cooking oil. He said migrant construction and unorganised sector workers would be identified by district collectors and Labour Board and would be given 15 kg rice and one kg each of dhal and cooking oil. 

For roadside vendors, a special assistance of Rs 1,000 would be given in addition to the Rs 1,000 through the fair price shops, the Chief Minister said, adding two days special wages would be given for MNREGA workers for the month of March. Stating that quality food would be supplied continuously at Amma subsidised canteens, he also announced setting up of kitchens to provide food for destitute across the State and necessary instructions were given to the district collectors in this regard.