Finance minister announces insurance for all students, pension for small farmers aged 60+
Kerala's revised budget for 2011-12 presented today by finance minister K M Mani has proposed to collect an additional revenue of Rs 625 crore. Additional expenditure through the new proposals are estimated at Rs 950 crore.
The budget also proposes an additional 6 per cent cess and 10 per cent surcharge on Indian-made foreign liquor, amounting to an additional revenue receipt of Rs 192 crore. An additional cess of 2 per cent on luxury cars priced above Rs 20 lakh will be levied and houses with a basement area above 4,000 sft will also attract additional 2 per cent tax. The budget also proposed an additional revenue receipt of Rs 15 crore through the changes in the compounding on tax on gold.
The minister also mooted the 'Emerging Kerala' summit in order to attract overseas investment into the state in line with the global investors' meet orgainsed in January 2001.
The government also decided to enhance the periodicity of the state lottery draw to daily from the current weekly in order to raise funds for the treatment of poor patients suffering from cancer, kidney and cardiac patients and for palliative care.
The revised revenue receipts of the state will be Rs 39,428 crore and the revenue expenditure will be Rs 44,961 crore as per the latest estimates. Total debt of the state increased to Rs 88,857 crore which is around 250 per cent of the total revenue.
In 2010-11, debt had increased 93 per cent, which the finance minister said was mainly due to the financial mismanagement of the previous Left Democratic Front (LDF) government. The distribution of rice at Rs 1 per kg will commence during the Onam festival season which will benefit 2 million BPL families of the state, for which Rs 200 crore has been earmarked.
The major thrust areas of the budget are infrastructure, agriculture, public health and industrial development. It has earmarked Rs 150 crore for the proposed Vizhijam international seaport and Rs 25 crore for the initial work of Kochi metro. The proposed Smart City project will get Rs 10 crore and the Kannur airport project Rs 30 crore.
The budget enhanced all the welfare pension schemes to Rs 400 per month from Rs 300 at present. For the first time in the history of the state, small farmers above 60 years of age and having land less than 1 hectare will get pension of Rs 300 per month.
Rajiv Arogyasree insurance scheme will be extended to 3.5 million BPL families through which free treatment benefit up to a maximum of Rs 2 lakh can be availed. All the students of the state will be insured and Rs 1 crore earmarked for the initial expense of this project.
The government also proposed to start four new medical colleges in Kasargode, Malappuram, Idukki and Pathanamthitta districts. The budget extended a financial assistance to the tune of Rs 100 crore for the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation.
The government would also create 100,000 additional job opportunities with an investment of Rs 500 crore. An additional Rs 325 crore has been set aside for various works under the department of Public Works. The budget has announced that the new dam at Mullaperiyar will be completed within next four years.
# Call centre and video-conferencing facility will be arranged for commercial establishments. Traders can lodge their complaints online directly with the finance minister.
# A separate university for Malayalam at Thirur in Malappuram district.
# Separate committee to enhance resource mobilisation with FM as chairman Rs 1 crore for the special protection initiatives of Sri Padmanabha Swamin temple at Thiruvananthapuram.
# Legal aid cell for NRKs.
# 75 Maveli stores under the civil supplies corporation will be enhanced to super markets.
# 13 essential items will be distributed through the ration shops.
# 5 new polytechnics
# Subsidy on cattle feeds has been doubled
# Zero waste programme at Shabarimala with an investment of Rs 5 crore
# Rs 1000 crore for road renovation
# White paper on the financial status of the state in this session of the Assembly
# Comprehensive crop Insurance scheme for all types of crops
# Rs 120 crore for the conduct of national games in Kerala