Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, Union Minister of State for Shipping Pon. Radhakrishnan and Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M. Thambi Durai were present.
In the last six years, 3.99 crore saplings were planted under a similar programme.
Earlier PM Modi was welcomed by Governor Banwarilal Purohit, CM Palaniswami and top State officials at Chennai airport. From there he flew to the INS Adyar Naval base from where he drove to the Kalaivanar Arangam.
Addressing a function outside the Kalaivanar Arangam, Mr. Modi expressed happiness over his being able to inaugurate “one of her [Jayalalithaa’s] dream projects.” Explaining how women’s empowerment would help empower households, he said women accounted for 70% of beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana. This had demonstrated how the women “are stepping out of age old shackles and seeking self employment,” he said. He added that about 11 crore loans had been sanctioned under the scheme and Rs. 4.6 lakh crore provided without any bank guarantee.
Referring to other schemes aimed at women’s welfare, Mr. Modi said that of about 31 crore Jan Dhan accounts, 16 crore belonged to women. Under the Stand-Up India scheme, women entrepreneurs were being given loans from Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 1 crore. In the Union budget, the contribution of new women employees to the Employees’ Provident Fund would stand reduced from 12% to 8% for three years with no change in employers’ contribution of 12%.