Finance Minister K.M. Mani said in the Assembly that the government will be taking the initiative for establishment of top class educational institutions in the State.

The Minister made this announcement as he began his Budget speech in the Assembly on Friday. The opening lines were marked by criticism of the previous government led by Left Democratic Front.

Mr. Mani noted that despite starting of many self-financing institutions, the State still lacked institutions imparting quality education in the higher education sector.

The Finance Minister said that the State had been witnessing serious financial indiscipline. Kerala was among the few debt-stressed States in the country. Its Liabilities are 2.5 times that of assets.

The productive sectors were facing crisis. Agriculture production had dropped.

Unemployment, environmental and other problems plague the State. Previous government could not create sufficient employment opportunities despite favourable climate for investments. The previous government failed to control revenue deficit and non-plan expenditure.

Debts went up by 93 per cent over five years.

The opening balance of Rs. 1963 in the current year’s Budget was meaningless when the liabilities totaled Rs. 2154 crore. However, a through revision of the Budget was not possible at this juncture.