‘Sumangali scheme’ no longer in practice: Nilofer

The State government claimed in the Assembly on Friday that the ‘Sumangali scheme’ that was exploiting the women employed in the textile industry in the State, as charged by the DMK, was not in practice any more.

Rejecting charges levelled by DMK MLA A.P. Nandakumar (Anaicut) that some textile industries were not paying women workers properly and exploiting their hard work under the so-called ‘Sumangali scheme’, Labour and Employment Minister Nilofer Kafeel and Textile Minister O.S. Manian said the scheme did not exist.

To a concern raised by the DMK MLA over the reported proposal to privatise Salem Steel Plant, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami said the Centre had been urged not to pursue privatisation of the plant.

Tamil Minister Ma Foi K. Pandiarajan rejected the claim of Mr. Nandakumar that the Centre was considering closing down the Ordnance Factory in Avadi, which was manufacturing clothing for military personnel. “[Union Defence Minister] Nirmala Sitharaman has informed the Chief Minister in a letter that the unit would not be closed,” he said.

Replying to a charge that companies were closing down, Industries Minister M.C. Sampath said that compared to Rs. 33,074 crore foreign direct investment (FDI) received in the State between 2001 and 2010, the amount received in the seven years between 2011 and 2017 has been higher — Rs. 1,18,024 crore.

On laptop scheme

Information Technology Minister M. Manikandan and Backward Communities Welfare Minister S. Valarmathi rejected the charge of Mr. Nandakumar that there was a delay in the distribution of laptops and cycles respectively to school students.

Rural Industries Minister P. Benjamin denied that over 50,000 MSME industries were closed down, contending that the comparison was not appropriate since the figures were only that of the units registered under the Udyog Aadhaar scheme.

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