The State Budget for the 2010-2011 fiscal will be presented only after the Union Budget, Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac has said.
Delivering the presidential address at a national seminar held in connection with the Thanneermukkom Sampoorna Matsya Gramam project here on Sunday, Dr. Isaac said there were certain remarks that sounded negative to the interests of Kerala in the Finance Commission reports that were coming out.
Under these circumstances, there was a certain amount of uncertainty as to what would be set aside for the State in the Union Budget. Only after these were clarified would the State Budget be presented, he said, adding that this would happen in all probability towards the end of March.
Later, the Minister, who said there was no two opinion on the fact that the closed stature of the Thanneermukkom Barrage was creating social issues, pointed out that at the same time, intrusion of saline water was posing threats to the paddy crop in Kuttanad due to the absence of a protection bund. A new agricultural calendar was essential for Kuttanad, one designed with the barrage kept open throughout the year, and once this was formulated, farmers would be encouraged to follow that.
Any losses faced by farmers because of the barrage being kept open would be compensated by the Government. However, the concept was still in the planning stage. Discussions would be held with farmers, fishermen and public representatives on the issue, and if there was a consensus on keeping the barrage open, the State Budget would have an allocation for the concept and the remaining procedures, he said.
Dr. Isaac also said that fish product processing units would be set up to ensure value addition to the Matsya Gramam project.