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Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac presents State Budget for the FY 2021-22

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Kerala-Finance-Minister-Thomas-Isaac-presents-State-Budget-2021-22On January 15, 2021, Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac presented the State Budget for the Financial Year (FY) 2021-22. During the budget, he stated that the State Government aims to make Kerala as a Knowledge economy and announced several schemes to promote the education sector of Kerala. The Budget has set a target to create 8 Lakh jobs in 2021-22.

i.Budget Estimates for 2021-22

Revenue Receipts  INR 1,28, 375.88 Crore
Revenue Expenditure  INR 1, 45, 286 Crore    
Revenue Deficit  INR 16, 910 Crore

The Government has set a target to bring down Revenue Deficit below 1%, reduce Fiscal Deficit & increase State’s Revenue by 15%.

  • Revenue Receipts –  Receipts which neither create liabilities nor reduce assets
  • Revenue Expenditure – Payment of Salaries, wages, pensions, subsidies & Interests, also the expenses incurred by Government for its operational needs.
  • Revenue Deficit arises when Revenue Expenditure exceeds the total Revenue Receipts (Total Revenue Receipts-Total Revenue Expenditure).

ii.Unemployment of Educated – Biggest Development Challenge of the State

  • INR 200 Crores set aside for Kerala Development & Innovation Strategic Council (K-DISC) to utilise digital platforms to provide jobs for Youths.
  • Skills Training will be provided in the fields of Industry 4.0, Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Business Skills, Fintech Skills among others.
  • 500 ‘Nava Kerala’ post-doctoral fellowships ranging from INR 50, 000 – 1, 00, 000 will be granted to attract Young Scientists from Abroad to work in State Universities.
  • Under the Six-Point Programme, 2500 start-ups which will provide employment to 20, 000 people will be started in 2021-22.
  • Around 16, 000 Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) to be established in 2021-22, INR 2000 Crore has been earmarked for promotion of small enterprises.

iii.Poverty Alleviation

  • Proposal for micro planning to identify, register & provide poor families with jobs, ration cards & health cards.
  • Integration of poverty Alleviation schemes were also announced.
  • INR 6000 Crore will be allocated for poverty alleviation programmes over 5 years.

iv.Agriculture, Fisheries & Coastal Development

  •  INR 1500 Crore has been set aside for the fisheries sector & INR 250 crore for Coastal Development.
  •   Around 10, 000 Families residing in coastal areas will be provided houses under various schemes.
  •    INR 258 Crore allocated for farm mechanisation & horticulture development.

v.Environment Friendly Measures

  • Relaxation of Motor Vehicle Tax for electric & Hybrid vehicles
  • 50% waiver on one-time building tax for eco-friendly constructions.
  • Value Added Tax (VAT) on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) to be decreased to 5%.
  • 236 Electric Charging Stations to be set up by Kerala State Electricity Board Limited (KESB) in 2021-22.

vi.Tourism

  • Highest Allotment of INR 100 Crores for Tourism Marketing
  •  INR 7 Crores for Muziris-Kochi Biennale, INR 50 Crores for Kozhikode, Thiruvananthapuram Heritage Projects.
  • Interest free loans for entrepreneurs in the Tourism sector.

Fund Allocation towards Kerala’s Flagship Projects:

  1. Funds have been allocated for Government’s flagship projects like
  •  INR 166 Crore for K-FON (Kerala-Fiber Optic Network) which will ensure affordable Internet Connectivity for all.
  •  Silver Rail – semi high-speed railway corridor between Kasaragod-Thiruvananthapuram to connect One end of the state to other under 4 hours compared to the present 12 hours.
  • Carbon-neutral Coffee Project in Wayanad.
  • Karunya at Home’ project for delivering medicines for senior citizens

Other Announcements:

  • Hike in Allowance to ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) workers by INR 1, 000 to recognize their services during the pandemic & Increase in Pension of Journalists & non-journalists by INR 1000.
  • 50 lakh families get extra 10kg rice at Rs 15 per kg.
  • Laptops to be provided to poor families at half the price
  • Allocation of INR 10 Crores for welfare of Migrant workers.
  • Floor price of Rubber raised to INR 170, increase in Procurement price of paddy and coconut.
  • Welfare Pensions hiked to INR 1600.
  • INR 3000 pension for Non-Resident Keralites (NRK) who have returned to Kerala due to COVID-19.
  • INR 100 crore set aside for Ayyankali Employment Guarantee Scheme.

About Kerala:
Stadium – Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium (Multipurpose International Stadium)
Rivers –  Periyar, Pamba, Chalakudy