Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Tuesday announced a hike in the pension of village temple priests to Rs 3,000 from Rs 1,000 and said a television channel dedicated to shrines will be launched.
Announcing new initiatives under the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department (HR and CE), he informed the Assembly that the pension will be hiked.
"The pension of retired village temple priests will be increased to Rs 3,000 from Rs 1,000," he said.
The beneficiaries are those who have completed 20 years of service and completed 60 years of age and served at temples not under the ambit of HR and CE.
The additional expenditure of Rs 4.64 crore for the move will be met from government funds, he said.
Palaniswami said renovation work will be carried out in 55 ancient temples at a cost of Rs 50 crore from government and temple fund.
"A television (channel) will be launched in the name of Thirukkoil at an estimated cost of Rs 8.77 crore," he said.
While koil means temple in Tamil, Thirukoil is a reverential term for it.
Also, development work, including desilting will be done in 100 tanks owned by temples at a cost of Rs 26.20 crore, he said.
At a cost of about Rs four crore, free weddings will be held for 10,000 poor couples at 50 temples, the chief minister said.
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