Kerala budget 2022 highlights

Kerala Finance Minister K.N. Balagopal presented the budget in the Assembly at 9 am

March 11, 2022 10:29 am | Updated 11:40 am IST

Finance Minister K.N. Balagopal presenting the Budget at the Kerala Assembly in Thiruvananthapuram on March 11, 2022

Finance Minister K.N. Balagopal presenting the Budget at the Kerala Assembly in Thiruvananthapuram on March 11, 2022 | Photo Credit: S. MAHINSHA

Finance Minister K.N. Balagopal presented the budget for the financial year 2022- 23 in the Assembly today at a time when the government faces a challenge in increasing revenue, spurring economic growth, and tackling the State’s mounting debt liabilities.

Mr. Balagopal accepted a printed copy of the budget from A. T. Shibu, Director of Printing, before the presentation of the State budget.

Speaking to reporters before setting out for the Assembly, Mr. Balagopal said: “It is a budget that lays the ground for Kerala’s long-term development. The budget aspires to tackle inflation and strives not to burden citizens. It is a complicated situation globally. The government hopes to do its best in the given circumstances. The budget emphasised infrastructure development to spur economic growth. Politics apart, I hope the opposition also supports the budget in the paramount interest of the State”.

In the run-up to the budget presentation, the media was awash with speculation whether Mr. Balagopal would ease the burden on COVID-19 hit households by slashing the State GST on fuel and putting on hold the proposal to increase power tariff. When asked whether he would soften the blow on household budgets and address the concerns of struggling families, Mr. Balagopal said: “You will know the full context of the budget soon”. In earlier interviews, Mr. Balagopal had also stressed the need for prudent spending and fiscal discipline.

Finance Minister read out budget proposals from a tablet. Speaker M.B. Rajesh said this was the first paperless budget presentation in the Kerala Assembly.

Here are the highlights:

1. The Budget for the fiscal year has been earmarked at ₹2000 crore to check price rise and ensure food safety.

2. An Outlay of ₹200 crore was announced for Universities from Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB). Industrial facilitation parks to be set up with corpus fund of ₹200 crore from KIIFB. ₹1000 crore would be made available from KIIFB for Thiruvananthapuram Outer Ring Road.

3. ₹2 core has been set aside for organising various programmes including seminars to ensure global peace.

4. Startups to be encouraged in universities. Rs 90 crore for Startup Mission. Rs 28 crore for an electronic hub. ₹350 crore allocated for skill parks to be set up in all districts. Incubation centres would be set up in universities. ₹127 crore outlay for Kerala State IT Mission. ₹26 crore announced for digital university.

5. ₹250 crore announced for developing the facilities at the medical colleges in the State. ₹100 crore announced for medical innovation lab; ₹15 crore for graphene research; ₹5 crore for establishing centre of excellence in microbiology research. ₹50 crore announced for Institute of Virology. ₹50 crore for Institute of Advanced Virology, Thiruvananthapuram to develop mono clonal antibodies and other anti-viral products. The budget also announces ₹88 crore for regional cancer center in Thiruvananthapuram.

6. Chief minister’s Nava Kerala fellowships will be provided for 150 persons.

7. The budget proposes a new IT Park at Kannur. Four IT corridors would be set up parallel to NH 66; 5 lakhs sq ft IT park to come up in Kollam. ₹100 crore has been earmarked for IT infrastructure development. ₹1000 crore to acquire land for developing IT parks.

8. Steps would be taken to launch 5G service in Kerala.

9. Four science parks are to be established at a cost of ₹1000 crore. ₹4 crore for the Global science festival to be held in Thiruvananthapuram.

10. ₹50 crore to continue the work at home announced last budget.

11. ₹2 crore for a pilot project to develop ethanol from cassava.

12. Seven Agri-Tech facilitation centres to be established across Kerala at a cost of ₹175 crore

13. ₹500 crore has been earmarked for rubber subsidy.

14. Agriculture marketing company would be set up in CIAL modal (PPP). ₹20 crore earmarked for forming the company.

15. ₹50 crore announced for rubberised roads.

16. ₹20 crore for cleaning Ashtamudi lake.

17. The finance minister announces that 50% of ferry boats in the State will be solar-powered under a project to cut carbon emissions and minimise the impact of global warming and climate change. ₹15,000 subsidy for converting fossil fuel powered autos to electric.

18. ₹10 crore announced for studies to promote re-use and recycling in the construction industry.

19. A total of Rs 851 crore was set aside for the agriculture sector. ₹76 crore announced for paddy support schemes. ₹73 crore for coconut promotion. ₹100 crore for micro-irrigation projects. Other crops would be allowed in plantations. Minimum support price of paddy hiked to ₹28.20 per kg.

20. ₹10 crore set aside for desilting dams.

21. ₹260 crore for various activities of Kudumbashree.

22. ₹33 crore earmarked for Kerala Institute of Local Administration (KILA).

23. 212 crore man-days of work to be created under MGNREGA this year.

24. ₹10 crore for setting up cold chain centers in fisheries sector. ₹100 crore for coastal protection.

25. ₹140 crore for second Kuttanad package

26. ₹30 crore announced for Sabarimala masterplan.

27. Solar push carts to be distributed to vendors.

28. ₹1226 crore for industries sector. ₹10 crore for multilevel industrial estates. Budget earmarks ₹20 crore to promote private industrial parks.

29. ₹25 crore to reduce man animal conflicts. ₹10 crore for eco-tourism development.

30. The budget proposes ₹117 crore for the coir sector, and ₹16 crore for the Khadi sector, ₹113 crore for Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC).

31. ₹23 crore announced for the manufacture of byproducts from effluents at Travancore Titanium Products factory in Thiruvananthapuram.

32. The finance minister announced ₹16 crore to set up Wi-Fi hotspots.

33. The budget earmarks ₹201 crore for Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Ltd (KSITL).

34. ₹1788 crore for transport sector and ₹10 crore for coastal shipping were announced.

35. ₹1500 crore announced for TVM-Angamali MC road and Kollam-Chengota road.

36. ₹4.5 crore announced for Idukki and Wayanad airstrips. ₹2000 crore announced for semi high-speed project.

37. ₹15 crore announced for holding Champions Boat League.

38. The budget announces ₹5 crore for developing Caravan tourism; ₹1000 crore loan scheme has been set aside for tourism development.

39. The budget proposes to introduce mobile ration shops.

40. ₹200 crore for developing selected 20 traffic junctions in the State.

41. ₹150 crore announced for Kochi water metro project, and ₹1000 crore announced for KSRTC.

42. ₹500 crore announced for Karunya health insurance scheme.

43. ₹147.5 crore earmarked for the welfare of Pravasis.

44. ₹10 crore earmarked for ensuring the re-admission of medial students evacuated from Ukraine. Finance Minister also announced a project to prepare a data bank of Keralite students studying abroad.

45. ₹735 crore earmarked for the welfare of scheduled caste and scheduled tribe people. The budget also proposes ₹100 crore to lift 64,000 families out of extreme poverty.

46. ₹4600 has been allocated for gender budget package.

47. ₹342 crore set aside for the mid-day meals scheme in schools. ₹10 crore allocated for the welfare of senior citizens. Milk and eggs would be distributed in Anganwadis in the State.

48. ₹77 crore for modernisation of fire and rescue dept. ₹9 crore announced various schemes to ensure the safety of women. ₹5 crore earmarked for the welfare of transgender community.

49. The finance minister announced the revision of land tax. New slab is to be introduced for land tax. This will bring in an additional ₹80 crore to the exchequer, Mr. Balagopal said. A 10% hike in the fair value fixed for the land by the government. A 1% increase in motor vehicle tax. A 50% increase in green tax fixed for the old vehicles. The State also plans to mobilise an additional ₹200 crore through tax revisions.

50. Kerala government to take initiative to mobilise public opinion against Centre’s move to cut States’ share of taxes. Mr. Balagopal said efforts were on to reach out to other States for the purpose.

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