50% hike for large projects
The Kerala Cabinet on Wednesday approved the annual Plan of the State for 2014-15 with total outlay of Rs.20,000 crore .
The outlay is 17.65 per cent higher than current year’s Plan size of Rs.17,000 crore. Higher share is earmarked for Scheduled Tribes Development and major infrastructural projects.
Grants to local self governments are 25.27 per cent of the total outlay.
The Plan will be subject to approval by the Planning Commission.
3% for ST welfare
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told the media after the Cabinet meeting that about three per cent of the Plan was earmarked for Scheduled Tribes — up from 2.3 per cent in the current year. The amount would come to about Rs.600 crore against about Rs.350 crore this year.
For Scheduled Tribes
Additional allocations for tribes would be used for drawing up new developmental projects to be implemented by District Collectors under the supervision of a high-level committee chaired by the Director of Scheduled Tribes Development.
Also, Rs.1962 crore was set apart for Scheduled Castes (9.81 per cent of total outlay).
The Chief Minister said that the Plan proposed 50 per cent increase in allocation for large-scale infrastructure projects (Rs.1,125 crore against about Rs.846 crore this year.).
The major projects for which investment is proposed next year include Vizhinjam International Transhipment Terminal, Kochi Metro Rail Project, Kannur Airport Project, monorail projects in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode and suburban rail corridor project.
Mr. Chandy said that Rs.413.76 crore was set apart for special area development, including those for hill and coastal areas and Kasaragod district.
Emphasis was accorded to agriculture and allied sectors with an outlay of Rs.3,444.55 crore.
A sum of Rs.3,711.76 crore was proposed to be allocated for industries and infrastructure development. The outlay for agriculture sector had increased by 207.61 per cent since 2011-12. The increase was 267.34 per cent for Health and Family Welfare.
He said that if current year’s Budget had gone haywire as alleged, he as well as his Minister’s were responsible. “I had been proposing new projects and allocations when found necessary.”
Praise for Mani
Finance Minister K. M. Mani was a good Minister who was liberal with allocation for development and social welfare. The government could do much because of him, he said.