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Free cycle scheme funded by Centre: Chidambaram

Written by: Staff

Chennai, Apr 15: Joining issue with AIADMK supremo and Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on the free cycle scheme, Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram today said it was funded by the Centre.

Addressing a press conference here, he disputed Ms Jayalalithaa's claim that it was a State-sponsored scheme and gave statistics on the quantum of funds allotted by the Centre for the scheme since 2001.

Stating that special funds for the scheme were allotted under provisions of the Additional Central Assistance (ACA) programme, he said of the Rs 40 crore allotted following a proposal from the State, Rs 31 crore had been given from February 2002 to January 2004. Of this, Rs 21.70 crore was loan and Rs 9.3 crore subsidy.

He said Rs 20 crore was given (Rs 14 crore loan and Rs six crore subsidy) in February 2002, Rs six crore (Rs 4.20 crore loan and Rs 1.80 crore subsidy) in December 2002 and Rs 2.50 crore each (Rs 1.75 crore loan, Rs 75 lakh subsidy) in October 2003 and January 2004.

After January 2004, the State had not sought fresh funds for the cycle scheme, he said, adding the State sought Rs 100 crore for other projects under ACA scheme, for which special permission was given.


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