Insight Online News
Chennai, Aug 27 : Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Friday announced schemes worth Rs 317.4 crore for the welfare of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees. While making a statement in the Assembly, Stalin said his government would construct 7,469 houses for the refugees living in various camps across the state. The expenditure incurred on this scheme would be Rs 231.54 crore.
The DMK government is planning to construct 3,520 houses during the first phase of the scheme at a cost of Rs 108.81 crore. The Chief Minister said his government would ensure better living conditions and livelihood for the Tamil refugees.
Stalin said basic facilities such as electricity, drinking water and toilets would be provided in the refugee camps at a cost of Rs 30 crore. The DMK government would allocate an amount of Rs 5 crore to launch the Sri Lankan Tamil Lives’ Improvement Scheme, he added.
A total of 3,04,269 Tamils from Sri Lanka are living as refugees in Tamil Nadu since 1983. Of these 58,822 live in refugee camps across 29 districts. A large number of refugees are living outside the camps.
Stalin said his government would fully pay the expenses of 50 Sri Lankan Tamil students based on their marks. It would pay the education and hostel fees of the top five students of agriculture and agriculture engineering courses, he added. The government would also pay the educational expenses of all postgraduate students, adding that it would allocate Rs 1 crore every year for it.
Stalin said the scholarship for polytechnic students would be raised from Rs 2,500 to Rs 10,000 and for undergraduate students in arts and science colleges from Rs 3,000 to Rs 12,000. The scholarships of undergraduate students in professional courses will be offered in the range of Rs 5,000 to Rs 20,000. The state government would allocate Rs 1.25 crore as expenditure, the CM added.
Stalin said a committee would be constituted to provide help to Sri Lankan Tamils in camps and outside to felicitate permanent solutions such as citizenship and facilitating their return to Sri Lanka.
The Minister for Minorities and Non-Resident Tamil Welfare, an MP, MLA, Public Secretary and other officials will be the members of the committee ensuring the welfare of the Sri Lankan Tamil refugees.