Tamil Nadu Governor’s address hopeful of economic recovery

Mr. Purohit’s announcement was in line with the recommendations made by a high-level expert committee led by former Reserve Bank of India Governor C. Rangarajan

The Tamil Nadu government will infuse fresh additional capital of ₹1,000 crore over three years into the Tamil Nadu Industrial Investment Corporation (TIIC) to enable its function as an effective term-lending institution and also expand lending operations to cover the large number of MSME units that still do not have access to institutional credit, Governor Banwarilal Purohit announced in the Assembly on Monday.

Mr. Purohit’s announcement was in line with the recommendations made by a high-level expert committee led by former Reserve Bank of India Governor C. Rangarajan that was constituted by the State government to recommend measures to help important sectors of the economy overcome the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and to support and promote further growth.

During his customary address in the floor of the House, which commenced its first sitting of the last session in Kalaivanar Arangam, Mr. Purohit elaborated on the steps being taken by the government, the Governor said a new MSME policy has been finalised after consultation with multiple stakeholders and will be released by the Chief Minister shortly.

He also announced: “The registration fee was reduced to 0.1% from 1% for such agreements for micro and small enterprises. To further ease access to formal credit, the government will amend the Registration Act, 1908 to permit online registration of Agreements relating to Memorandum of Deposit of Title Deeds for availing term loans and working capital loans and do away with the need for the physical presence of borrowers and lenders for the execution of such deeds.

The BharatNet project would be rolled out to one-third of the revenue villages in the State by March 31 this year, he said. Referring to the destruction in the State caused by cyclones Nivar and Burevi during 2020, the Governor underlined the two memoranda presently to the Centre seeking to release ₹3,750 crore and ₹1,514 crore respectively and said: “We urge the Government of India to release funds at the earliest.”

The Governor also reiterated the Tamil Nadu government’s position on inter-State water disputes between Karnataka and Kerala over Mekedatu and Mullaiperiyar issues respectively. Referring to the killing of four fishermen of Tamil Nadu in the Palk Straits, the Governor said: “This government strongly condemns the incident in which four fishermen of Tamil Nadu lost their lives when a Sri Lankan naval vessel deliberately collided with their fishing vessel, while the fishermen were engaged peacefully in fishing in their traditional waters.”

As for the New Education Policy, he maintained that the government was fully committed to the continuance of the ‘Two Language Policy’ in Tamil Nadu and “there shall be no dilution in this regard.” The State Minorities Commission will be expanded through suitable legislation to provide representation to linguistic minorities, he announced.

The Governor also reiterated the State government’s request to the Centre to accord formal approval for their equity participation on the 50:50 sharing model for Phase II of the Chennai Metro Rail Project. “Passenger services in the extension of Phase I of the Chennai Metro Rail Project from Washermenpet to Wimco Nagar will be inaugurated by the Prime Minister later this month.”

Before winding up his speech, the Governor placed on record his heartfelt gratitude to the frontline staff and officials of the health, revenue, police, local bodies and all other government departments who worked tirelessly during this period, members of the House and all citizens of the State, who have contributed to the COVID-19 pandemic response.

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