Tamil Nadu Chief Minister announces Rs. 317 crore package for Sri Lankan Tamil refugees

M K Stalin - DMK chief

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Friday announced a package of welfare measures at a cost of Rs. 317.40 Crore for the welfare of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees living in special camps in the State.

Making a suo motu statement under Rule 110, the Chief Minister said his government would ensure decent and better livelihood opportunities for the Lankan Tamil refugees. The new measures follow the inspection made in their special camps, New Indian Express reported.

He said Rs. 231.54 crore would be allocated to reconstruct the 7,469  houses which were in dilapidated condition in the refugee camps. In the first phase, Rs. 108.81 crore would be allocated in the first phase to build 510 new houses.

Among the students who have been selected for engineering courses, the government would bear all educational costs of the first 50 students. Similarly in agri or agri engineering courses, the government would bear the educational cost of first five toppers from the community. For PG students, their educational and hostel fees would be paid by the government.

The scholarship for around 750 students would be hiked substantially. Polytechnic (from Rs. 2,500 to Rs.10,000); UG courses in arts and science (from Rs. 3,000 to Rs. 12,000) and undergraduate vocational courses (from Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 20,000).

For each family cooking gas connection and stove free of cost would be given. For five cylinders a subsidy of Rs. 400 per cylinder would be given

The Chief Minister also announced that a committee would be formed to ensure sufficient assistance to the refugees and to improve the basic amenities in the camps.