Chennai : Having won an easy but contentious trust vote, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E K Palaniswami on Monday got down to work, ordering closure of 500 more liquor outlets and signing files for implementing a raft of populist schemes.
Keeping the promise made by chief minister the late J Jayalalithaa in the run up to the May 2016 assembly polls, Palaniswami announced closure of an additional 500 liquor vends, taking their number so far to 1000.
Jayalalithaa, who had won a rare consecutive term for the ruling AIADMK last year, had promised prohibition on liquor sales in a phased manner amid clamour for a complete liquor ban during the election campaign.
The announcement was made to honour Jayalalithaa’s promise, he later told reporters. State-run Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation has a monopoly over wholesale and retail vending of alcoholic beverages in the state. TASMAC fetches around Rs 26,000 crore annually from 6,300 odd liquor outlets.
Flanked by ministers in his cabinet, Palaniswami said he had also signed files for implementation of five welfare schemes, including those for women, unemployed youth and fishermen.
These schemes included raising the financial assistance under a maternity scheme from Rs 16,000 to Rs 18,000, providing 50 per cent subsidy to women buying two-wheelers, free housing for fishermen and increasing unemployment allowance to the young.
The chief minister ordered raising monthly assistance to unemployed youth from Rs 150 to Rs 300 (Class 10 completed), Rs 200 to Rs 400 (Class 12) and from Rs 300 to Rs 600 (graduates). —PTI
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