TN Govt spends Rs 1,444 cr on colour TV scheme

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Chennai, Jul 26 (UNI) The Tamil Nadu Government has spent a whopping Rs 1,444 crore for the distribution of free colour television sets and the scheme would be wrapped up with the supply of another 40 lakh sets.

Addressing a function to distribute free colour television sets for the people in Chepauk and Triplicane constituencies here last evening, Chief Minister M Karunanidhi said in three phases, the Government had distributed 43.55 lakh colour television sets to families, which had no set.

He said the Government would procure an additional 40 lakh sets for distribution in the fourth phase, which would mark the completion of the scheme and fulfillment of the DMK's major poll promise.

When the Government announced the free colour television scheme in its election manifesto, many ridiculed the DMK, saying the scheme could never be implemented and the party was trying to cheat the public to mobilise votes. But the DMK Government proved them wrong by launching the scheme on the birth anniversary of late Chief Minister C N Annadurai on September 15, 2006, with the distribution of 30,000 television sets at a cost of Rs nine crore in the first phase, he said.

In the second phase in February 2007, the DMK Government had distributed 25 lakh television sets at a cost of Rs 685 crore and in the third phase in 2008, it had distributed 34.25 lakh sets, involving a cost of Rs 750 crore.

So far, the Government had procured 59.55 lakh sets at a total cost of Rs 1,444 crore. All, but 16 lakh, sets have been distributed, Mr Karunanidhi said, adding that in the fourth and final phase, the Government would procure 40 lakh television sets.

At the completion of the fourth phase, the Government would have distributed one crore television sets to families, which had no sets, he said.

He said the Opposition parties had ridiculed the DMK when it promised rice at Rs two per kg, but the Government had made it a reality.

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