Ladies and gentlemen,
On the occasion of the birth anniversary of SelviJayalalithaaji, I pay my tributes to her and extend my greetings and best wishes to all of you.Wherever she is, I am sure, she would be very happy, to see the happiness on your faces.
I am glad, today, to be able to launch one of her dream projects– the Amma Two Wheeler Scheme. I am told, that on Amma's70 birth anniversary, seventy lakh plants will be planted across Tamil Nadu.These two initiatives will go a long way in the empowerment of women,and the protection of nature.
When we empower the women in a family, we empower the entire house-hold.When we help with a woman's education, we ensure that the entire family is educated.When we facilitateher good health, we help keep the entire family healthy.When we secure her future, we secure the future of the entire home. We are working in this direction.
The Union Government has focused on improving "Ease of Living"for the common citizen.All our schemes and programmes have been oriented towards this aim.Be it financial inclusion, easy availability of credit for farmers and small business,healthcare or sanitation, this is the basic mantra, with which the NDA Government at the Centre is working.
Over 11 crore loanshave been sanctioned under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana. An amount of 4 lakh, 60 thousand crore rupees has been given to people without any bank guarantee.And most importantly, seventy per cent of the beneficiaries are women.
The success of this scheme, therefore, is proof that the women of India are now stepping out of the age-old shackles, and seeking self-employment.We have taken a number of other steps too, for women empowerment. In the recent Union Budget, we announced that the EPF contribution for new women employees will be reduced from 12 percent to 8 percent for three years. The Employer contribution will remain 12 percent.
Under the Stand Up India scheme, women entrepreneurs will be given loans worth 10 lakh rupees to one crore rupees.We have also made a change in the Factory's Act, and suggested to States, that they allow women to work in the night shift as well. We have also extended maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks.
Under the Pradhan MantriAwaasYojana, the registry of the House is done in the name of the woman.
The Jan DhanYojana has also benefited women in a big way.Out of 31 croreJan Dhan Bank Accounts,16 crore are of women.
The percentage of total bank accounts held by women, has gone up from 28 percent in 2014, to 40 percent now.The Swachh Bharat Mission has given women respect and dignity, which is their right.Rural sanitation coverage in the country has expanded from 40 percent to 78 percent.We worked in a mission mode, to provide toilets for girl children in all government schools.
The schemes of the Union Government are protecting nature, even as they are empowering people.29 crore LED bulbs have been distributed so far under the Ujala scheme.They have led to a saving of 15 thousand crore rupees in Electricity Bills. They have reduced carbon dioxide emissions by a significant amount.
The Union Government has so far given over 3.4 crore free gas connections under the UjjwalaYojana.As women benefit from a smoke-free environment,the reduction in kerosene usage is also helping the environment.Nine and a half lakh women in Tamil Nadu have benefited so far, from this scheme.
Keeping in mind, the issues of gas supply and sanitation in rural areas, the Union Government has come up with the Gobar-Dhanscheme.The aim is to convert animal
dung and agricultural waste into compost, bio-gas, and bio-CNG.This will raise incomes,and reduce expenditure on gas.
More than 24 thousand crore rupees worth of projects are currently being implemented by the Centre, in Tamil Nadu.All these projects have begun after the NDA Government assumed office.They include solar power plants, crude oil pipelines National Highways, and port related works.More than three thousand, seven hundred crore rupees have been sanctioned for the Chennai Metro Rail.
When there was a Congress-led Government at the Centre, Tamil Nadu had received 81 thousand crore rupees under the 13th Finance Commission. After the NDA came to power, Tamil Nadu received One Lakh, 80 Thousand Crore rupees under the 14th Finance Commission.This is an increase of about one hundred and twenty percent.
The Government is working to provide a home to every poor person by 2022. About one crore houses have been built in the last three years.
Tamil Nadu has been given about 700 crore rupees in 2016-17, and about 200 crore rupees in 2017-18, for rural housing.For urban housing, the State has been given over 6000 crore rupees.
Farmers in Tamil Nadu have also benefited from the Pradhan MantriFasalBimaYojana. I am told that claim amounts worth over 2600 crore rupees have been given to farmers in Tamil Nadu so far, under this scheme.
The Union Government is working towards modernization of fishing in Tamil Nadu Under the Blue Revolution Scheme, we are providing financial assistance to fishermen for long liner trawlers.Last year, we gave the State Government 100 crore rupees, to convert over seven hundred and fifty boats to long liner trawlers. Besides making their lives easier, such trawlers will also help the fishermen earn more.
India's vast ocean resources, and long coast-line offer immense possibilities.The Union Government is workingon the Sagarmalaprogramme, to overhaul our logistics sector.This will reduce the cost of both domestic and foreigntrade.It will also benefit people living along India's coast-line.
We have announced the Ayushman Bharat scheme in the recent Union Budget.Each poor family will be given the facility of free medical treatmentupto a cost of 5 lakh rupees per year, at identified hospitals.This will help 45 to 50 crore people across the country.
The Pradhan MantriSurakshaBeemaYojana and the JeevanJyotiYojana have provided insurance cover to more than 18 crore people. We have also taken other steps such as providing medicines at economical rates, through more than 800 Jan AushadhiKendras.
We remain committed towards working hard in bringing a positive change in the lives of people.
I once again pay my respectsto SelviJayalalithaaji.I wish you all the very best.
Thank you very much.