Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam will be tabling the interim budget for the state for 2021-22 on Tuesday at the pro-tem assembly hall at around 11 am amid being surfaced with anticipations over rolling out the fresh initiatives ahead of the assembly polls in which the ruling ADMK hopes to have a landslide victory and to form a new government for the third consecutive time.
Along with serving as the Deputy Chief Minister, Panneerselvam has also been serving as the Finance Minister and he will be presenting his 11th budget on Tuesday at Kalaivanar Arangam, the hall which will be hosting the assembly session temporarily owing to the COVID-19 protocol. As Panneerselvam presents his 11th budget, he is going to create history by becoming the only Finance Minister of Tamil Nadu to present 11 budgets.
As the interim budget will be the last for this assembly, the political observers expect that the Finance Minister will unveil a pack of fresh initiatives to cover and attract the people to vote for the party in the upcoming assembly polls. With the ruling government had already made some significant announcements including farm loan waiver, the Finance Minister will be adding counts to such people-oriented announcements vested with the state government.
It's obvious that the interim budget will arm the party as the talking points on the campaign trail to meet and address the allegations from the opposition and to display that the ADMK party will work and introduce more people welfare schemes if elected to power. While it has been expected that the Chief Election Commission will announce the election dates for Tamil Nadu at the end of February, the ruling government would present maximum schemes for the people before the election rules come into effect.
According to reports, the interim budget will be a review of the performances and announce the spending for the state until the new government comes to power. But, if the current government plans to introduce schemes, it can go ahead. Speaking to a news agency, the former Lok Sabha Secretary-General said that the government can announce new initiatives and schemes in the interim budget.
If the government enjoys a clear majority in the assembly, it can unveil new schemes for the people but it won't be in effect for the complete financial year as the incoming administration may annul or reverse them. The reports say that Panneerselvam will be presenting the budget and announcing the schemes under Rule 110 of the assembly and the session is likely to be short, but the Business Advisory Committee will be deciding about the duration of the session.
According to reports, the total debt of Tamil Nadu for 2020-21 was at Rs 4.56 lakh crore and it has been expected that the state's debt will hit Rs 5 lakh crore in the current fiscal year, which will be one of the highest in India. The Finance Minister may announce more loan waivers including education loans and the loans of Self-help groups run by women. Tamil Nadu may go for the polls by the last week of April to avoid hardship for the voters during summer, which would peak in May. It must be noted that the political parties in the state had also demanded the Election Commission to conduct the polls in a single-phase.