Agriculture, infrastructure and alternative energy sources get priority in 2013-14 Budget. Rice and rice products exempted from tax

The Kerala Budget for 2013-14, presented to the Assembly by Finance Minister K.M. Mani on Friday, proposes a slew of welfare measures, including enhancement of welfare pensions, and targets significant additional resources mobilisation.

The pension age of government employees joining service from April this year is raised to 60 years, leaving the existing staff to retire at 56.

Taxes stand hiked for vehicles and a number of luxury items and white goods by one per cent, netting Rs.650 crore for the exchequer. Rice and rice products are exempted from tax and levies eased for items such as waterbeds, solar energy equipment, and agro-shade nets. Individuals will not have to pay agriculture income tax from next year.

Flagship schemes

The Minister announced a number of flagship schemes, including those for protection of farmers. The highlights are interest-free agricultural loans to small and marginal farmers and waiver of interest dues on NABARD loans, an integrated agricultural garden scheme for small farmers, model hi-tech villages, farmers’ markets, and an integrated crop insurance. A six-point plan is proposed for solving unemployment.

Plan implementation will be closely monitored and officials will be specifically designated to carry out Plan programmes.

Solar energy

Mr. Mani pays special attention to generation of solar energy, proposing floating solar panels over reservoirs, among other things, and makes water harvesting compulsory for houses with a plinth area exceeding 2,000 square feet. A matrimony fund is proposed to be formed with contributions from those celebrating marriages in star hotels or large auditoria.

He dreams of making three lakh houses for the poor in three years under various schemes and offers scholarships for bright students from poor families. Gender balance is sought to be achieved by introducing a gender balance score in internal evaluation in high schools and higher secondary schools.

The budget earmarks Rs.846 crore for infrastructure such as rail, airport, and the Vizhinjam port. The additional expenditure on new schemes proposed is about Rs.1,400 crore and the additional resource mobilisation is of Rs.1,138 crores. That leaves a closing deficit of Rs.526.54 crore.

Salient Features of Kerala Budget 2013-14

Flagship Schemes

• Scheme for enhancement of speed and efficiency of plan execution

 plan formulation will be completed in April-May

 Expert training will be given to officials

 Plan implementation responsibility will be vested with a particular official

 Electronic sanctioning and monitoring of projects

 Monitoring Committee will be set up with Chief secretary as chairman

• Farmers’ Protection Programmes

 Rs. 50 crores is allocated for writing-off the interest burden on NABARD loans of small farmers.

 Interest-free agricultural loan will be made available to all small and marginal farmers having land below one hectare.

 Risk insurance for loan repayment- If the head of the family dies or meet with accident agricultural loan need not be repaid.

 Integrated Agricultural Garden Scheme for small holders

1. Hi-tech agriculture integrating three of the following activities out of chicken/ duck/ turkey/ quil/ rabbit farming. Pisci-culture Bee-keeping Mushroom cultivation/floriculture will be given a grant amount of Rs. 10,000.

 Model Hi-tech Green Villages-Rs.70 crore

Villages that adopt rain water harvesting, waste processing at source and thereby promote environmental protection, hi-tech agriculture, organic farming, ensure food security, water security, energy security and environmental security will be piloted one each in 14 districts.

 Paddy Procurement-Rs.21 crore

Government will deposit a revolving funds in the District Co-operative Banks and cheque will be given on procured paddy to the farmers and money paid at once through Co-operative Banks.

 Farmer’s produce societies and farmers’ markets-Rs. 30 crore

Scheme for marketing farmer’s produce through their own societies ensuring better price, and quality products to the end users avoiding middlemen.

 Kerala Brand for Organic farming-Rs. 15 crore

Pilot project for production of organic manure, pesticides and disease resistant and high productivity seeds, tissue-culture seedlings, research institutions and production units in selected districts.

 Production of “Neera” from coconut tree-Rs.20 crore

Scheme for “Neera” production from coconut tree to ensure more income to farmers, more employment to toddy tappers and health drink for the people.

 Integrated crop insurance for farmers-Rs.50 crore

Integrated insurance scheme incorporating all major crops.

 “Trupthi” fair price restaurants. Food at Rs. 20 to all will be started in all taluk headquarters.

 Six point programme for solving unemployment

1. Placement cells in Educational institutions

2. Career Development program for all youth

3. Start up subsidy for creation of employment opportunities

4. Support from project report to production

5. Encouragement for research papers, patents, innovations and inventions

6. District level awards for innovation

• Website for skilled workers and Task Force for crore

skilled workers website operated by Akshaya centres for more access to opportunities.

• Infrastructure Development-Rs.846 crore

High speed rail corridor, the monorail projects at Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode, Kannur Airport, Vizhinjam Port, 35th National Games Projects and Mobility Hubs.

• Generation of Solar Energy and Rainwater Harvesting-Rs.17 crore

Subsidy for installation of solar power system with grid connection. Making rain water harvesting and waste treatment at source mandatory in newly constructed houses above 2000 square feet in the State.

• Social Welfare Programmes

 Women empowerment and welfare

A proposal to introduce gender balance score in the internal valuation of high school and higher secondary level.

 Financial assistance for higher education to the children of widows

Exemption for children of widows having family income below 3 lakh from tuition fee at Government rates in higher education.

 Matrimonial Fund (Mangalya Nidhi)

Contribution not less than 3% of the expenses in wedding celebrations held in hotels above three star status or auditoriums with a seating capacity above 500 to form a Matrimony Fund for poor girls.

• Draught Prevention Programme-Rs.50 crore

Scheme for protection of water sources, upkeep of canals and rivers, soil and water conservation activities, well recharging etc., by integrating with the employment guarantee programme in co-operation with the Panchayaths.

• Integrated Health Programme-Rs.100 crore

Health insurance scheme for families having annual income up to three lakh wherein Government will bear the insurance premium.

• Modernisation and extension of Cancer Treating Hospitals

Proposal to raise Regional Cancer Centre in Thiruvananthapuram to a National Cancer Institute along with arrangements for cancer tertiary care in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode Medical Colleges and selected district hospitals.

Special Programmes

 Scholarship for Bright Students from poor families

Fund for 75% fee concession for poor students in prestigious national institutions such as IIT, IISC, ISER and IIM.

 Pension for Workers under Employment Guarantee Scheme

Pension scheme for National Employment Guarantee Scheme workers at the age of 60 through workers, central and state governments contributes.

 Competitive Examination Training Centres for Backward Categories-Rs.3 crore

Three apex recruitment training centres will be started region-wise under the auspicious of backward communities department.

 Integrated development of areas inhabited by traditional workers-Rs. 10 crore

Scheme for developing areas inhabited by workers in Coir, Cashew and Handloom sectors by providing better infrastructure like roads, drinking water, electricity, drainage and sanitation systems.

 Professional education scholarship for economically backward among forward communities-Rs. 5 crore

scheme for fee concessions at Government rates

to students hailing from forward community families having annual family income of Rs.3 lakh and below.

Human Development Centre in Economically Backward Regions-Rs. 3 crore

Three entrepreneurship training centres will be started under the auspicious of forward communities corporation.

 Beggar free Kerala-Rs.14 crore

Scheme for starting 14 shelter homes in district head quarters to rehabilitate beggars after giving logistic medical support and treatment.

 Higher Education Scholarship for Students in Orphanages-Rs.5 crore

Government will bear the course fee and hostel fee of students of orphanages who study in Government and Aided Institutions.

 Lifelong shelter homes for mentally challenged-Rs.14 crores

Lifelong shelter homes will be started in all districts for mentally challenged children with the co-operation of NGO’s having qualifications, training, commitment and willingness.

 De-Addiction Centres-Rs.15 crore

De-addiction centres will be opened in government hospitals to treat addiction to alcohol and drugs.

 Modern Crematoria-Rs.5.5 crore

Scheme for starting natural gas/LPG based state of the art crematoria in all districts and renovating existing crematoriums with the co-operation of local bodies.

 Welfare of migrant workers-Rs.50 crore

Scheme for providing migrant workers boarding facilities at reasonable rates through night shelters and medical assistance through health department.

 Kasargod Package-Rs.25 crore

Integrated development package for Kasaragod district to be implemented by unifying Central and State schemes.

 Marine Ambulance for the Security of Fishermen-Rs. 3 crore

Arrangements for continuous monitoring in fishing sectors and providing emergency help in case of accidents or its possibility.

 Ice and Freezing Plant-Rs.3 crore

Scheme for construction of mega ice and freezing plant at Sakthikulangara in Kollam involving facilities such as modern ice plant and cold storage which will provide direct employment to 150-200 persons and indirect employment to 500 persons.

 Fish Processing Centres-Rs.10 crore

Scheme for modern fish processing centres which will add value to fish and process it in a ready to cook form and make available in retail sales counters or in fish markets.

 Fish Malls and Modern Fish Markets-Rs. 100 crore

Scheme for marketing fish and fish products on most modern lines through fish malls established in the Metro cities of Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode through Kerala State Coastal Development Corporation(KSEDC).

 Costal ship Transport Scheme-Rs.20 crore

Scheme to encourage coastal ship transport by giving incentives to commuters and transporters of freight for three years.

 Coir Export Processing Park-Rs. 5 crore

A coir export processing park will be established in Alappuzha.

 Plastic tarring of roads

A scheme of encouraging Panchayats or Residents’ Association to collect and supply required plastic for road tarring by giving subsidy not exceeding Rs.5 lakh.

 Plastic collection under the auspicious of women groups

scheme for collection and processing of plastic under the auspicious of women self-help groups by giving them interest free loan up to Rs.25 lakh through local bodies for starting small scale industries for plastic collection and recycling or producing granules for road surfacing.

 International and Inter University Centres for Nano technolgoy-Rs.10 crore

International and Inter University Centre for Nano Science and Nano Materials in Mahatma Gandhi University.

 M.R.G Panicker memorial-Rs.25 lakhs

 Three Lakh houses in three years

Scheme for homeless poor by combining various housing schemes like Indira Avas Yojana, Rajiv Aavaas Yojana, Saphalyam and the Janani scheme.

 Excellence Awards in the education sector

Scheme to incentivize and recognise merit, excellence awards for educational institutions.

 Expatriate Welfare Scheme-Rs.2 crore

Fund for expatriate Keralites to avail loan at concessional rates to launch their own enterprises when they return to Kerala.

 Permanent bridge to Alwaye Sand Bed (Manappuram)-Rs.14.5 crore

Permanent iron bridge instead of the present temporary bridge.

 Vivekananda Study Centre in M.G University

Various Departments’ Schemes

• Agriculture-Rs.1474.74 crore

• Technology Centre for fruits, vegetables & flowers

Centre for providing modern technologies to farmers in the cultivation of fruits, vegetables and flowers.

 Soil and water conservation

Scheme for renovation of 240 ponds, 1000 wells, rainwater reservoirs, cuscus planting, distribution/supply of fruit bearing medicinal plants etc in Kuttanad region

 Soil Museum

A soil museum to be established at Parottukonam, Thiruvananthapuram exhibiting different variety of soil from Parassala to Kasaragode

 Construction of High Tech Fodder Unit

Scheme capable of producing 1000 Kg fodder daily in the 400 sq feet area in a controlled climatic condition for fodder cultivation.

 Genomic Laboratory-Rs. 11 crore

A most modern genomic laboratory capable of developing sophisticated technology for early detection of good heifers will be set up under KLD Board.

Revised Estimate for 2012-13 (Rs. in crore)

Revenue receipts 48269.21

Revenue expenditure 51675.65

Grants for creation of capital assets 2793.3

Revenue deficit (-) 3406.44

Actual revenue deficit (-) 609.14

Capital expenditure 6882.21

Loans & advances(Net) (-) 1056.68

Public debt(Net) 10753.94

Public accounts (Net) 482.29

Fiscal deficit (-) 109.1

Opening balance at the beginning of the year 529.23

Closing balance at the end of the year (-) 638.33

Fiscal indicators (Rs. in crores) 2012-13 2013-14

(A) Revenue receipts 48269.21 58057.88

State Tax Revenue 31702.44 38771.01

State N on-tax Revenue 4458.37 4921.57

(B) Capital Receipts 11356.04 12460.26

Borrowings and other liabilities 11236.23 12314.42

(C) Total Receipts (A+B) 59625 70518

(D) Non Plan Expenditure 47470 55536

(E) Plan expenditure (include CSS) 12264 14540

Revenue expenditure 51675.65 60327.85

Grants for creation of capital assets 2793.3 3472.06

Actual revenue deficit (-) 609.14 1202.09

Capital expenditure 6882.21 8616.00

(F) Total expenditure (D+E) 59734 70076

Loans & advances(Net) (-) 1056.68 (-) 989.66

Public debt(Net) 10753.94 11844.38

Public accounts (Net) 482.29 470.04

(G) Revenue surplus/ Deficit (A-F(1)) (-) 3406 2270

(H) Fiscal Deficit (-) 11345 11872

(I) Primary Deficit (-) 4300 4199

Total surplus 441.79

Opening balance ( beginning of the year) 529.23 (-) 638.33

Closing balance at the end of the year (-) 638.33 (-) 196.54

Additional expenditure announced 1400.58

Concessions announced 67.78

Additional resource mobilisation 1138.33