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Thennarasu attends Pre-budget meet convened by Nirmala, takes up TN issues

Thennarasu attends Pre-budget meet convened by Nirmala, takes up TN issues

Chennai, June 22 (UNI) Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Thangam Thennarasu on Saturday urged Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to release the pending GST and other dues to the State, besides sanctioning funds for the Chennai Metro Rail Project-Phase Two and other issues concerning the State in the Union Budget.
At the pre-budget meeting convened by Ms Nirmala in New Delhi, copes of which were released to the media here, he started his speech by congratulating her as she would soon become the first Finance Minister in the Country’s history to present seven consecutive Budgets.
Stating that this meeting is an integral part of fiscal federalism, Mr Thennarasu said in the 2021-22 budget, Ms Nirmala had announced the Chennai Metro Rail Phase-2, as a central sector project, at
a cost of Rs.63,246 crore and the foundation stone for it was also laid by Union Home Minister Amit
Shah in Chennai on November 21, 2020.
"While this project has been recommended by the Public Investment Board (PIB) on August 17, 2021, it is awaiting approval of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) for the last three years. Pending this approval, the entire expenditure is being borne by the State from its own funds", he said.
The delay in approval is making a severe impact on the state finances and has slowed the pace of implementation of this Project, causing hardships to the people of Chennai, he said and urged the Union Government to immediately sanction the project, as originally envisaged, and ensure adequate provisions are made in the Union Budget 2024-25.
Pointing out that Tamil Nadu had witnessed two massive natural disasters in quick succession last year, causing a significant strain on the state finances, the Minister said the State had submitted two detailed memoranda outlining the extent and magnitude of disasters seeking a disaster relief of around Rs.37,906 crore.
But the Union Government has released a meagre sum of Rs.276 crore, he pointed out.
"Given the magnitude of the disasters and the colossal damage caused to the infrastructure and livelihoods of people, this compensation is grossly inadequate and is a grave injustice to the State of Tamil Nadu", he added.
Noting that the releases from the National Disaster Relief Fund are legitimate dues to the States, he implored the Union Government to release adequate funds to disaster-affected States.
He also requested the Union Government to allocate a sum of Rs.3,000 crore to Tamil Nadu to undertake necessary restoration works in the upcoming Budget.

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