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Kerala fiscal condition not looking good, lowest growth in 3 decades: Issac

State FM says trend may continue in FY20, expenditure can't be curbed since Kerala is yet to fully recover from aftermath of floods; govt pegs loss at Rs 15,000 cr

T E Narasimhan & Gireesh Babu  |  Chennai 

Kerala Finance Minister TM Thomas Isaac
Kerala Finance Minister TM Thomas Isaac

said on Thursday, January 31, that the state's fiscal condition was not looking good, with growth likely to be the lowest in three decades.

In his Budget speech today, Isaac said the trend is expected to continue in 2019-20 as well, as the state cannot curtail expenditure since it is yet to fully recover from the aftermath of the floods.

However, the minister maintained an optimistic view and looked towards fiscal consolidation. The state's finance ministry hopes that the pursuit of a 30 per cent growth in tax revenue and proper implementation of the Goods and Service Tax (GST) will revive Kerala's fiscal health.

The state government estimated a Rs 15,000 crore loss due to the recent floods.

Isaac presented his 10th Budget at the State Assembly. The Budget proposed a high-speed railway line from Trivandrum to Kasaragod, covering 515 km, at a cost of Rs 55,000 crore.

To boost the start-up ecosystem, an amount of Rs 70 crore has been set aside for the StartUp Youth Programme, Rs 141 crore for Industrial Parks, and Rs 10 crore for StartUp Innovation Zone. The Budget also proposed setting up the Amaravi model township in Kochi and a Kochi-Coimbatore industrial corridor.

An integrated transport system is on the anvil in Kochi MetroRail, and plans are for Kochi to be connected with road and water transport, Issac said.

He added that Rs 6,000 from KIIFB has been allotted for with cycle tracks connecting all port cities of the state.

A scheme to double farmers income, Rehabilitation plan for fishermen, and three rice parks were also announced. Apart from that, a plan for the revival of the rubber sector would also be put in place across every district.

First Published: Thu, January 31 2019. 12:31 IST