Tamil Nadu: Rs 317 cr package for Lankan Tamil refugees

Tamil Nadu CM Stalin announces Rs 317 crore package for Lankan Tamil refugees

Till date, 3,04,269 Lankan Tamils have arrived in Tamil Nadu since 1983

Tamil Nadu CM M K Stalin. Credit: PTI File Photo

Asserting that his government was committed to “enhancing” the living conditions of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in the state, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Friday made a slew of announcements like building over 7,000 new houses in refugee camps and free gas stoves and cylinders. 

Making a statement under Rule 110 in the Assembly, Stalin also said his government will soon set up a high-level committee under the chairmanship of Minorities and Non-Resident Tamils’ Welfare Minister K S Masthan to address issues like enhancing living conditions of the refugees and granting them dual citizenship. 

The Chief Minister said 58,822 refugees are lodged in 822 camps in 29 districts, while 34,087 refugees live outside the camps after duly registering with the police. He also listed the initiatives that the previous DMK governments took to protect the interests of the refugees who began flocking to India in 1983 after the civil war in Sri Lanka intensified. 

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“Since many houses in the refugee camps are in bad condition, the government has decided to build 7,469 new houses at Rs 231.54 crore. In the first phase, 3,510 houses will be constructed and Rs 108.81 crore will be sanctioned for the purpose,” Stalin said. 

Granting Rs 30 crore for enhancing electricity supply, toilet facilities, and drinking water, Stalin said the government has sanctioned Rs 317.40 crore for the Sri Lankan Tamil refugees. 

The government will spend Rs 10 crore in training youth living in refugee camps and outside to make them employable, while free gas stoves and cylinders will be provided to families. 

Each family will receive a subsidy of Rs 400 each for five cylinders, Stalin said and enhanced the scholarship for students and the financial assistance provided to refugee families. 

“Not just Tamils who live here, our government is concerned about the lives of Tamils who live across the world, and we will take care of them,” Stalin said. 

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