According to officials of Civil Supplies department, till Sunday, 94.7% of ration card holders have received Pongal package. To facilitate the remaining cardholders to receive the Pongal package, the deadline has been extended for another week, till January 21. Ration card holders, who have not received the Pongal gift so far, can make use of the Pongal holidays to go and collect the same.
It was following its success and acceptability last year, that the government decided to extend the Pongal package this year, too. Apart from Rs 1,000 in cash, Pongal package contains one kilogram each of raw rice and sugar, two-foot sugarcane, 20 grams of cashew, 20 grams of resin, five grams of cardamom, and a dhoti and saree for every ration card. The state government has allotted Rs 22,363.13 crore for implementation of the scheme.
The gift package was launched by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami before the announcement of rural local body election. However, it was put on hold after the model code of conduct came into effect.
After the completion of local body election, the scheme commenced on January 9 and initially, it was announced that gifts would be given till January 12. However, since many people who are not staying in their native place may not be carrying ration cards, the last date has been extended by another week so that they too can avail them during Pongal holidays.