Tuesday, Apr 09, 2002
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By Our Special Correspondent
In his reply to the budget debate, Mr. Ponnaiyan said the Opposition leaders both within and outside the Assembly were claiming that the ``budget contained nothing''.
Listing the various schemes mentioned in the budget, he insisted that the Government had drawn up programmes to achieve the Chief Minister's 15-point programme.
As for Tamil Nadu's financial crisis, he accused the erstwhile DMK regime of having imposed an ``unbearable burden'' of Rs. 1445 crores on the State by procuring 14 lakh tonnes of paddy not only from farmers, but also from traders as well.
While procurement of 4 lakh tonnes of paddy would be adequate, the DMK regime barred movement of rice from delta districts and bought an unwanted quantum of paddy, impairing the State's finances..
On the contrary, the present regime took a firm decision not to buy paddy from traders and to procure it from farmers showing patta pass books.
Mr. Ponnaiyan also alleged that the DMK regime failed to improve quality of paddy by distributing high- quality seeds to farmers.
While Karnataka had raised the quality of its rice with BPT Sona seeds, the erstwhile DMK regime had not made use of the deluxe variety seeds produced by the Tamil Nadu Agriculture University.
CM to attend CII meet
Claiming that the Chief Minister, Ms. Jayalalithaa's recent interaction with captains of industry at the recent Confederation of Indian Industry meeting here, drew praise from industrialists, Mr. Ponnaiyan said she had been invited to attend the CII's national level meeting to be held in Delhi on April 27.
The CII president, Sanjeev Goenka, had admired Ms. Jayalalithaa's ``lucid exposition and brilliant responses'' and expressed the view that she should participate in the national meet. ``The Chief Minister has agreed to participate,'' he said.
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