Chennai, Jan 6 : Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today announced allotment of Rs 350 crore for the procurement of sarees and dhotis from weavers under the Free dhotis and sarees scheme being implemented by the State government.
An official release here said the Chief Minister had already allotted Rs 256 crore for the scheme, which was a pioneering scheme launched by late Chief Minister MGR in 1981 that envisaged distribution of free dhotis and sarees to poor during Pongal festival. After holding a review meeting on the status of the scheme, Ms Jayalalithaa today announced allocation of an additional Rs 94 crore, taking the total allocation to Rs 350 crore.
Ms Jayalalithaa also increased the wages given to weavers from Rs 16 to Rs 18.40 per dhoti and from Rs 28.16 to Rs 31.68 per saree. She also ordered procurement of 170.84 lakh sarees and 169.75 lakh dhoties from handloom and powerloom weaves of the State. The release said there was delay in issuing tenders for the scheme as the model of conduct for the Assembly elections was in force from March to May last year and again between September and October due to the local body polls.
This year there would be delay in distributing sarees and dhotis to the poor as weavers would take time for weaving them due to delay in finalising the tender. The release said Ms Jayalalithaa said the distribution process should start from Pongal and complete by Tamil New Year in April.