Sunday, April 11, 2021
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Hours before model code kicks in, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal announce relief measures in loan waiver, minimum wages

The Chief Minister raced the announcement through in the state assembly today after the Election Commission said it would reveal dates for elections in Tamil Nadu and four other states at 4.30 PM.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E. Palaniswami on Friday announced a gold loan waiver just hours before the announcement of state election dates, which will bring a model code of conduct into place. The state government announced, gold loans against up to six sovereigns given by cooperative banks to farmers and the poor will be waived.

The Chief Minister raced the announcement through in the state assembly today after the Election Commission said it would reveal dates for elections in Tamil Nadu and four other states at 4.30 PM.

Justifying the move, Palaniswami said the economy was yet to recover from Covid-19 pandemic and this would help the poor redeem the gold they had pledged during the lockdown.

The Tamil Nadu State Apex Co-operative bank offered the gold loan schemes with low interest rates as part of Covid-19 relief measures. The interest rate has been fixed at 6 percent per year. In this, people could get Rs 25,000 to Rs 1,00,000 and the loan had to be returned in three months.

Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also announced a hike in wages of the daily wage workers just ahead of the model code of conduct by the Election Commission is set to kick in the state.

Also Read: Traders, transporters shut shop on Friday for Bharat Bandh

Taking to micro-blogging site Twitter, CM Banerjee stated that the wage for unskilled labour has been increased to Rs 202 per day from Rs 144 earlier. The wage for semi-skilled has been increased to Rs 303 from Rs 172 earlier and to Rs 404 for skilled labour (new category introduced).

A total of 56,500 workers (40,500 unskilled, 8000 semi-skilled, 8000 skilled) will benefit from this. These wages are in parity with rural workers’ enhanced pay (MNREGA unskilled & semi-skilled). Budget provision for this step has been made available for both FY21 & FY22, she added.

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