First budget of MK Stalin's government: When it will be presented and what can be expected?

When MK Stalin assumed the office of the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for the first time, he braced up the fact that he has mammoth tasks that lie ahead of him that what he would have thought. From addressing the health crisis that has been ramping the state after getting triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic to the ailing financial condition of the stage including growing debts and deficits, he has seen a pile of problems each in a fashion of testifying his ability to govern and rule the state, unlike in the path of his predecessor.

The Stalin administration has also pushed to keep the promises the party has made during the campaign trail of the assembly polls. Stalin has listed out hundreds of promises to the people with the assurance that they will be fulfilled after the party comes to power. His poll promises played a vital role like anti-incumbency wave against the ADMK regime in DMK's victory, however, amid being under the expectations of fulfilling the promises, Stalin has shocked to know the real problem in the state - a sharp decline in the scale of revenue, eerie emptiness in the state coffers, and growing debts. 

The stumbling financial condition has made DMK defer fulfilling the poll promises in wake of insufficient funds in the treasury. Though he announced the schemes of free public transport for women in local buses and provided the Covid-19 relief fund and materials to the rice-ration hard holders, the eroding state of the fund had barricaded the DMK government in rolling out some of the important poll promises, stirring protests from the opposition parties.

To let the people know about the current financial situation of the state and to put blame on the previous ADMK regime for such huge financial distress, Stalin has decided to table the white paper about the financial condition and the state's total debt. The Himalayan task of preparing the white paper and scoring good marks from the people through its budget has gone to Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Palanivel Thiagarajan. Armed with sound economic and financial knowledge, Thiagarajan, the first time minister, has been in a hectic work culture in recent days for preparing the budget and the white paper.

The first budget of the newly formed government would always be more people-friendly with the substances and schemes to fulfil the poll promises to them. However, the DMK is in the riskier state that it has to balance the economic stability and roll out some of the key poll promises failing which it will pour more Achilles' heel to the opposition parties. With such an unprecedented challenge, the MK Stalin government is all set to present its revised budget in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly. 

According to reports, the Tamil Nadu government will present its revised budget for 2021-22 on August 13. Assembly Secretary K Srinivasan said that Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit has summoned the assembly on August 13. In a press release, the Governor said, "In exercise of the powers conferred upon me by clause (1) of Article 174 of the Constitution of India, I, Banwarilal Purohit, Governor of Tamil Nadu, hereby summon the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly to meet at 10 am on Friday, the 13th August 2021, in the Multi-purpose Hall, 3rd Floor, Kalaivanar Arangam, Omandurar Government Estate, Wallajah Salai, Chennai-600002." 

The decision to present the budget on August 13 was taken in the Tamil Nadu cabinet meeting that was held on Wednesday morning and chaired by the Chief Minister. The revised budget will be presented by Palanivel Thiagarajan. Former Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam had presented the interim budget for the year 2021-22 on February 23, ahead of the assembly polls. After the DMK has registered a landslide victory by defeating the ADMK, MK Stalin has formed the government and his government will be presenting the revised budget, four months after his victory.

On the front of the expectations from the revised budget, there will be announcements of schemes benefitting the people from fulfilling the poll promise of providing monthly emolument of Rs 1,000 for homemakers and measures to bring down the fuel prices. It is also been expected that the DMK government would allocate more funds to the health department to enhance the health infrastructure and announcement regarding the jewel loan waiver for the farmers at the cooperative banks. 

As Tamil Nadu is just a month away to host local body elections in the nine districts, it has also been expected that the budget would be presented with several freebies for the public. On an interesting note, Finance Minister Palanivel Thiagarajan has prepared the major part of the budget in his writing and it also must be noted that the state government would be presenting a separate agriculture budget from this year as the DMK had promised that it will approach agriculture with utmost priority and to enhance the farming sector. The government will be tabling the white paper on the financial condition of the state on August 9.