Chennai: Tamil Nadu should record 11 percent economic growth, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa said Wednesday, while asking India to protect the Tamils in Sri Lanka.
Unfurling the national flag for the 12th time in her political career on Independence Day, the chief minister said: "Tamil Nadu should grow at a rate of 11 percent or more."
She said the state should log a growth of 20 percent over the expected Indian economic growth over the next 10 years.
To develop the human resource pool, Jayalalithaa said the government was offering incentives such as a free cycle, lap tops, cash incentives, books and others to school students.
She said new engineering colleges had been sanctioned and Rs.100 crore allotted to improve infrastructure in government colleges.
She said over 100,000 vacancies would be filled in various government departments.
Jayalalithaa said the government was taking several steps to end power cuts in the state.
Jayalalithaa, who came to power last year, said 3.5 million mixies and grinders, 170,000 cows and 680,000 goats would be distributed free to the needy during the current fiscal.
She said the Karnataka government`s decision not to release Cauvery river water led to cuts in short term paddy crop acreage.
The chief minister urged the cental government to take effective measures to protect the Tamil community in Sri Lanka.
Later, Jayalalithaa distributed the Kalpana Chawla Award for bravery to two women and sweet packets to differently-abled children.
Independence Day was celebrated across the state as district collectors unfurled the tricolour.
In many schools, students turned out for the event with miniature Indian flags pinned on their uniforms.