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Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami on Saturday assured the state that economic activities will soon improve and things will be back to normal as he addressed an audience on the occasion of the 74th Independence Day.

He also announced an increase in the monthly pension for freedom fighters by Rs 1,000 to Rs 17,000 and the family pension for freedom fighters by Rs 500 to Rs 8,500.

Unfurling the national flag from the ramparts of Fort St.George state secretariat, Palaniswami said despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the state has been getting new industrial investments.

He said the state will return to normal economic front soon.

Listing various Covid-19 relief measures taken by the government, Palaniswami said the state has spent about Rs 6,650 crore towards combating the pandemic. He said the state has about 1,29,000 beds for Covid-19 patients and necessary medical professionals were being appointed.

According to him, a total of 64,661 people from Tamil Nadu living abroad were brought back to the state under the Vande Bharat Mission and Operation Samudra Setu.

He promised that the memorial for late Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa at the Marina Beach front will soon be inaugurated.

He distributed various awards. The Kalpana Chawla Bravery Award was awarded to three women — Senthamiz Selvi, Muthammal and Anandavalli — all from Perambalur district.

The special award for rendering advice for combating Covid-19 was given to Chief Scientist of World Health Organisation Sowmya Swaminathan.

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