Staff Reporter

Only 2.66 per cent of Central funds allocated for Kerala

KOCHI: The steady fall in the share of taxes and grants from the Centre was the major reason why Kerala had been unable to earmark adequate funds for developing transport infrastructure, ports and higher education, said K.N. Harilal, Member, Planning Board. Though the State had 3.10 per cent of the country's population (as per the 2001 statistics), the 12th Finance Commission allocated for Kerala only 2.66 per cent of Central funds. The 13th Commission has allocated much less — 2.34 per cent of the funds. The total fall in allocation over a five-year period vis-a-vis the 2001 population figure comes to around Rs.12,000 crore. Thus, a major share of the State's resources are set apart for education, health and the public-distribution system, leaving little for developing basic infrastructure, he said.

Mr. Harilal was giving a talk on ‘The award of the 13th Finance Commission,' at a function organised by the Maharaja's College's Research Centre of Economics here recently to felicitate Prof. Martin Patrick, head of the research centre and other teachers at the centre. “There has to be a yardstick and rationale in distributing funds to States under the federal system. The fall in allocation to southern Indian States, especially Kerala would stifle their development.”

As a model employer, the government should implement its wage commitment to its employees. On their part, the employees should ensure better productivity and discipline. Teachers should be given the UGC scale, to attract better talent to the profession, he said.

Chairman of the Centre for Socio-Economic and Environment Studies and the former Director of School of Management Studies of Cusat K K George called for concerted efforts by people's representatives and academics to get more funds from the Centre. He attributed the lower allocation to Kerala to the State's high social development index. The Principal of Maharaja's Prof. U.A. Mohandas sought more funds to augment the facilities at the college to make it an internationally-renowned research centre. S. Muraleedharan, Reader in the Economics Department of the college, said Prof. Patrick was the first in Kerala to conduct a study on the State's informal sector and this found mention in the national report on the unorganised sector. Head of Department of Applied Economics, Cusat, Harikumar spoke.