TN CM to finalise items for Pongal gift hamper

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin has chaired a meeting of ministers and bureaucrats to decide on the materials to be included in the Pongal gift hampers.

Pongal, the biggest festival of Tamil Nadu commences on January 15 and ends on January 18.

The state government had drawn flak over the inclusion of materials of inferior quality in the Pongal gift hampers. The government was mulling excluding materials like dry fruits, cashew, jaggery, etc., that were perishable in the gift hampers. Complaints were raised during the last Pongal period when gift hampers were filled with some materials that were of inferior quality.

The government will be including raw rice, sugar, and Rs 1,000 in cash and the meeting is yet to decide on the other materials to be included in the hamper. Some officials who are participating in the meeting told the Chief Minister that except for a few, a large number of people have bank accounts and that Rs 1,000 could be transferred directly to their accounts. However, some officials negated the idea and said that including Rs 1,000 as liquid cash in the Pongal gift hampers was more useful to the public and that it could be monitored properly.

The state government will make an official announcement by Tuesday on the final content of the gift hampers.

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