Marking her first day at office after becoming the chief minister for a sixth term and as well as part of her pre-poll promises, Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa on Monday signed a slew of orders, including waiving of farm loans of tiny, small and cooperative farmers. She also extended benefit of free electricity of up to 100 units of power to domestic consumers, partial closure of liquor shops (as well as reduced working hours), free electricity (restricted) to weaving and handloom units and 8g free gold to women under the wedding assistance scheme of the state government.
Immediately after swearing in as the chief minister, Jayalalithaa drove to the state secretariat and signed first five files as above to fulfil her pre-poll promises. Along with her, 28 others were also sworn-in as ministers in her Cabinet.
The first among the five files signed by Jayalalithaa was waiving of the cooperative crop loans, medium-term and long-term loans of small and tiny farmers payable as of March 31, 2016. This will cost the state exchequer an amount of Rs5,780 crore, a state government statement here said.
The second important file was on exempting 100 units of free power (electricity) to domestic households, which will cost the exchequer an amount of Rs1,607 crore. This will come into an immediate effect.
The other files include 200 units of free power to handloom weavers, and 750 units for powerlooms will be given as part of poll promise. She also signed an order which will ensure 8g free gold for the marriages of diploma-holder and under-graduate women (four gram earlier) under the state government’s women wedding welfare scheme.
Last but not the least is partial alcohol prohibition in the state. As promised in her poll manifesto, Jaya also announced a step-by-step measure by announcing closure of 500 units (total 6,800 Tasmac outlets approx. across the state). She also brought down the functioning timing of such outlets from 12 pm to 10 pm instead of 10 am to 10 pm earlier. This order also comes with immediate effect. The Tasmac outlets generated an annual revenue of over Rs27,000 crore.
The AIADMK supremo in the party’s manifesto had promised a number of welfare schemes, including above important aspects as well as 50% subsidy for women buying scooters/mopeds, establishing Lokayukta, salaries of state government employees to be revised based on the 7th Pay Commission, free mobile phones for ration card holders, free set-top-boxes and free laptops with Internet for 10th and 12th grade students.
The 68-year-old AIADMK supremo, along with 28 others took the oath of office and secrecy, administered by governor K Rosaiah. Jaya retained 15 of her ministers, including trusted O Panneerselvam, who were in the previous cabinet and 13 new faces, including three women.