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TN elections 2021: Kamal Haasan promises Rs 3,000 dole to homemakers, income by honing skills

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Coimbatore, Mar 19: Bettering the promise of monthly payouts to homemakers by AIADMK and DMK, Kamal Haasan's Makkal Needhi Maiam on Friday assured Rs 3,000 "value rights assistance" to them in its manifesto for the April 6 assembly polls, but maintained it was not a dole.

MNM, making its debut in the Tamil Nadu assembly polls three years after it came into existence, also promised a monthly assistance of Rs 5,000 to select group of people, including those aged 75. The promise of Rs 3,000 assistance comes days after the DMK and the ruling AIADMK assured payouts of Rs 1,000 and Rs 1,500 to the women homemakers respectively in their manifestos.

Kamal Haasan

Outlining the key aspects of MNM's manifesto at its release, Haasan, trying his luck from Coimbatore South, told a press conference here that through initiatives like skill development, women could earn as much as Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 per month and "that is what we call payment to housewives and not doles to them."

The manifesto said by creating gig workers opportunities for educated women, they could earn Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000 during their free time and skill development training would be facilitated to ensure it. Gig workers, generally independent professionals, are those who enter into agreements with companies to provide services to the firms' clients.

Haasan was the first to promise what he called in December last as 'payment' to homemakers for their work. Though MNM chief accused rivals for 'copying' his idea and blamed them for showering doles while the Tamil Nadu government faced huge debt, his party's manifesto promised Rs 3,000 a month to homemakers who only did household chores.

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However, the assurance was listed under the subject "not a freebie (dole), economic development schemes." It also said first-time workers will be provided with e- bikes under interest-free while school students will be provided with 10-inch smart tablets.

Further, MNM promised a monthly assistance of Rs 5,000 for all aged 75, those with 80 per cent physical disability and women abandoned by their husbands and unable to work and widows.

Incidentally, such women will also be provided skill development training. MNM will not depend on tax revenue for generating funds, but through development schemes like generating employment, Haasan said.

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"This will not be for five years keeping in view the polls alone, but a vision document and a living document for another ten years, and will bring in a change in Tamil Nadu's political scenario," he claimed.

Loss-making state transport corporations could be made profitable by making employees shareholders, he said. For MSMEs, the party would set up units, like ration shops, where they can get all the raw materials to improve the production, he said and promised mono or metro rails in different parts of the state.

The party also has plans to implement Provision of Urban Amenities to Rural Areas (PURA), a strategy for rural development in India, a concept, former president Dr APJ Abdul Kalam came up with.

Stating that the manifesto was implementable, Hassan came down heavily on the ruling party which promised free washing machines, saying the state's debt burden already stood at Rs five lakh crore.

The party in power wanted to impose heavy burden on the people by such gimmicks, he claimed. MNM said it will introduce a State Eligibility cum Entrance Test (SEET) replacing the present NEET, which would be helpful to the students of Tamil Nadu.

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