Economic crisis | Kerala to seek special package from Centre, says Finance Minister K. N. Balagopal

Kerala Finance Minister K. N. Balagopal  

The State would press the Centre for a special financial package for overcoming the economic crisis triggered by COVID-19, Finance Minister K. N. Balagopal informed the Assembly on Thursday.

Two key areas — Non-resident Keralites (NRK) and the plantation sector of the state — are neck-deep in crisis, Mr. Balagopal said.

''The NRK sector which accounted for a major chunk of the investments has been incapacitated by the crisis. In such a situation, we are of the opinion that the state should announce a package for the state,'' Mr. Balagopal said, replying to questions in the House.

Calling for a collective effort in this regard, he urged MPs from the State to press the Centre for the assistance, given the special characteristics of the state such as the presence of a significant expatriate population and the plantation sector.

According to the Finance Minister, around 14 lakh Keralites have returned home during the pandemic. Of this, four lakh have no jobs, but the remaining ten lakh are employed, but are unable to go back.

The centre has mopped up around ₹4.25 lakh crore by way of cess on petroleum products. In the present scenario, the states are not entitled to a share from this amount. At the same time, petroleum companies have made massive profits.

Kerala will take the initiative to present the states' demand for a share in the GST Council, he said. He pointed out that the state's share from the divisible tax pool is now down to 1.92% from 2.45%.

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Printable version | Sep 17, 2021 5:03:42 PM |

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