CONTENTS

 

Part – 1

Preface

 

Part – 2

Health Emergency

 

Part – 3

Loan Scheme for Financial Rejuvenation

 

Part – 4

Coastal Distress

 

Part - 5

Development and Welfare Sectors

 

Part 6

Taxes

 

Part 7

Conclusion

I

Preface

       ^^ 

CONTENTS

 

   1.        Sir, It is my privilege and honour to present the revised budget of the Financial Year 2021-22 to this august house.  My predecessor Dr. T. M. Thomas Issac had earlier presented the budget for 2021-22 for the first Pinarayi Government. Exceptionally comprehensive proposals have been included in that budget. The budget presented long term development perspectives for Kerala along with detailed annual financial proposals. The proposals aimed at transforming the economy of Kerala while being fully cognizant of the changed realities in a post-covid world. This government commits to implement all the proposals in that budget. But certain developments that could not have been foreseen while preparing the earlier budget have necessitated the presentation of this budget. The most important of these are the rapid transmission of the second wave of Covid-19 and the apprehensions of the onset of a third wave.  This health emergency necessitates certain fine tunings in our development strategy. Overcoming the pandemic has become the pre-requisite for development. The economy could be revived only by reducing  the impact of the second wave and preventing a third wave of the pandemic. We are compelled to take the firm stance, “Health above all” or “Health First” as our vision for development. In essence, the strategy for effective healthcare has become our strategy for development in this budget. Our policy is to ensure equitable healthcare, nutrition and sustainable improvements in employment, income and economic welfare. If Kerala becomes the first state to conquer Covid, we will get more opportunities for economic progress. I will come back in detail to these circumstances that necessitated changes in the budget later. Before that, I need to place on record certain matters regarding the continuity of the Government under the leadership of Shri. Pinarayi Vijayan. 

People’s Mandate

   2.        All of us are proud of the continuous advancement of Kerala’s democratization process. We can see that democratization is improving in all walks of life in the state. We set out on building a modern society by dismantling the countless bondages that shackled citizens’ lives. But forces that create obstacles to this are still active. What makes Kerala unique is our strength to confront and overcome such forces. Admirable growth is happening in the democratization of Kerala rule.  The most shining example of it is the continuity of LDF rule mandated by the people of Kerala. It is not only the victory of a political front, but also the victory of the people of Kerala. I salute the people of Kerala  who vehemently support the Left Democratic Front to attain a historic win.

 

   3.        The commencement of democratic governance in Kerala faced multi-fronted challenges. Many governments could not complete their tenure due to various reasons. The continuous uncertainties in politics and administration gave rise to apprehensions about democratic governance. But later situation has emerged when governments elected by the people completed their tenures. We didn’t permit the culture of buying MLAs en masse by fixing their price and detaining them at tourist resorts. The role played by left front in saving Kerala from the ignominy of political horse trading needs to be appreciated. Now we have grown greatly towards continuity of governance rather than just completion of tenure. In the general elections 2021, the people of Kerala have created history by reelecting
a government for its performance. The only other time
a government was reelected was in 1977. But that was under the shadow of emergency.

 

   4.        The continuity of governance has been made possible neither by denying the freedom of activity to opposition nor by silencing the media. No other government in Kerala in recent times has been subjected to such callous attack. The first Pinarayi Government had to face baseless attacks for the last one year. It reached its culmination with the onslaught of Central Investigation Agencies. The onslaught which extended for a long period greatly benefited the Government. The reason for the defeat of the opposition is not because their allegations had not reached the people. Each individual and family meticulously analyzed all this information and took a judicious decision. They rejected
the baseless claims and reaffirmed their faith in the Government. 

 

   5.        The people’s mandate was clear in the local body elections of 2020. It became even clearer in the legislative elections. Sri.Pinarayi Vijayan became the first Chief Minister accomplishing continuity of governance in Kerala. It would be better to remember the words of the Chief Minister himself during the celebrations of the victory: “People make decisions not based on allegations and propaganda, but based on their experiences in life”. Everyone should comprehend the fact that experiences in life can overcome the charades of post truth period. Malicious campaigns will never weaken this government’s determination. But we will accept creative criticisms without any reservations.

 

   6.        There is another reason for saying that the mandate
for continuity is the victory of democracy.  Democracy as
a system of governance is facing challenges even in countries having long history of democracy.
The democratic countries in the European and American continents are examples. The confidence and interest of people in democracy are waning. Neo-liberal reforms are one of the main reasons for this detachment. People in many countries believe that the rich has captured governments and they protect the interests of the 1% super rich, ignoring the interests of the 99%. The emergence of Covid-19 pandemic and the collapse of public health system have further dented the credibility of democratic governments in western countries. It is in this context that the democratic experiments in Kerala demand special attention.

 

   7.        We are trying to ensure a Kerala Model of administration that does not exclude anyone. This model was obvious in the manner in which we faced the calamities that befell Kerala recently. Kerala rose unitedly beyond all divisions. The most important achievement of the first
Pinarayi Government was that it could give effective leadership to this unity of Kerala society. The mandate for continuity of governance is a recognition for this also.
The success of the Kerala model is further highlighted by yesterday’s report of the NITI Aayog on States’ SDG ranking where Kerala retained its number 1 ranking.     
    

   8.        As you are aware, my predecessor Dr. Thomas Isaac presented a very wide reaching and visionary budget on behalf of the government in January this year. Even though we were going for elections and had to pass only the vote on account for the first four months, the budget was for the entire year and it unveiled a full set of proposals for what is to be done during these challenging times. We  will ensure continuity as far as the commitments already made by the outgoing government are concerned with suitable modifications and improvements in light of the resurgence of the pandemic and its impact on the economy and society.

 

   9.        The manifesto of the Left Democratic Front further expanded the budget proposals for the future development of Kerala. Our manifesto was much deliberated throughout Kerala. Election manifestoes have greater significance in democracy. The fact that the first Pinarayi Government had implemented almost all proposals of their manifesto is an important reason for the continuity of governance. This Government will also strive to fully implement the proposals in the current manifesto.

 

10.        The Left front is implementing a long term perspective on development through multi-year schemes. Five Year Plans will assist for this. 2021-22 is the concluding year of the thirteenth plan of Kerala.  The activities for formulating the fourteenth Five Year Plan (2022-23 to 2026-27) will commence shortly.  The next Five Year Plan will be formulated through a process that includes extensive participation. As part of the plan, Long Term schemes capable of achieving long term goals put forward in budget and manifesto will be formulated.  The Government look forward to the involvement of everyone in this process.
The co-operation of the opposition is also eagerly awaited.  Let us stand together in the building of post covid Kerala.

 

11.        In the last financial year, the state’s GSDP came down by 3.82% compared to the previous year. The growth rate that was positive for decades fell under the impact of Covid-19 induced lock down and State revenues recorded a decline of 18.77%. The delay and uncertainty caused by Government of India in releasing even the legally mandated GST compensation to State also caused considerable financial difficulties. The Government of India’s increasing tendency to rely on cess, particularly on petroleum products, has an adverse impact on state finance by reducing the divisible pool, that is to be shared with States. As a result, revenue deficits grew and states were forced to borrow.

 

12.        Kerala’s share from the divisible pool of the Central Tax Revenue has been decreasing in each CFC award. 
In 1980-1985, Kerala’s share was 3.950%. In 2000-2005, it fell down to 3.057%. In 2021-2026, it further came down to 1.925%. Implementation of effective population control measures and achievements in development have resulted in reduction of Kerala’s share.  This happens due to unscientific fixation of criteria.  This is highly discriminatory and is to be discussed in general. 

13.        Kerala economy faces two key challenges. First, how to step up capital investment which is below the national average, so as to generate faster economic growth.  Second, how to address its high levels of unemployment and educated unemployment. Government has been trying to address the first of these challenges through investment by KIIFB. In the budget presented in January 2021, my predecessor announced schemes to enhance the quality of higher education by setting up new centers of excellence. These centers will connect our economy to the digital economy so as to generate self-employment and work from home opportunities.

14.        I have already mentioned that this Government is committed to implement the proposals in the budget prepared by my predecessor for the year 2021-22.  But the exigencies of the second wave of Covid 19 makes certain changes inevitable.

15.        In the beginning of the Pandemic, the Government had declared a package amounting to Rs. 20,000 crore to help those who were suffering from the adverse impact the Covid lockdown. Kerala was the first state to declare such a package. We spent double this amount for Covid relief. Sir, a second Covid Package of Rs. 20,000 crore is announced to face the socio economic and health challenges that are emerging in the back drop of the second wave. Through this package, Rs. 2800 crore will be spent towards facing the health emergency situation, Rs. 8900 crore for disbursing money directly to those who are in crisis due to the loss of livelihood, and Rs. 8300 crore towards interest subsidy for loans provided for economic rejuvenation.     

      

II

Health Emergency

         ^^

CONTENTS

 

16.        Sir, on the occasion of the presentation of the earlier budget there was an impression that the Covid-19 pandemic was under control.  The number of daily active cases and mortality had come down to 3110 and 19 respectively at that time. It was anticipated that economic production, creation of job opportunities and state revenue would increase, and the economy would return to the path of development. We also expected that the expenditure related to the pandemic would also go down. 

17.        But the emergence of the second wave of Covid-19 has upset all these calculations. The rapidity of disease transmission surpassed all our expectations. The increase in the number of patients has put a great stress on the elaborate medical facilities we had set up. The mutated virus with higher contagious potential increased the rate of transmission. Health workers and preventive systems faced great challenges.  Government was compelled to go for extended lock down.  At one stage the number of patients per day went above 43000 and daily mortality rose to 198. We could manage the situation by utilizing the capacity of Kerala’s health infrastructure and support systems to the maximum. 

18.        The activities undertaken by Kerala to prevent Covid-19 pandemic from the very beginning are laudable.  Even in the midst of the stress of the second wave, the precautions and the disaster response capacity of the state were widely appreciated.  Besides, we could help other states.  But the pace and severity of the second wave and the possibility of a third wave indicate that the challenge is not yet over. We may have to face greater challenges in the coming months. 

19.        The Covid vaccine policy of the Union Government was irrational and unexpected. This increased the severity of the financial stress faced by State Governments. Unscientific vaccine distribution and exports has given opportunities for profiteering even as the pandemic was spreading.

20.         Sir, at any cost, the impact of the second wave needs to be minimized. We should prevent the onset of the third wave utilizing all our strengths and capabilities. In the worst case a third wave occurs, we will keep our health infrastructure and support systems ready to face the challenge. This is the only way to save the life and health of the people. This is the only path towards economic development also. This situation compelled the government to present this revised budget. On the health front, the Government intends to implement six new initiatives.

21.        We will set up ten-bed isolation wards for contagious diseases in all CHC, Taluk, District and General Hospitals. It is estimated that Rs.1.75 crore is needed for the setting up of new wards and Rs.1.25 crore for the renovation of old buildings. Around Rs. 636.5 crore will be needed for this. We will request MLAs for contribute to this from their Asset Development Fund.

22.        we will convert all existing Autoclave Rooms in Taluk, District and General Hospitals into Central Sterile Supply Department (CSSD). CSSD of each hospital has the prime responsibility to arrange for surgical and other reusable equipments. This upgradation will reduce nosocomial infection and improve infection control in hospitals. Rs.18.75 crore is set apart for establishing 25 CSSDs this year.

23.        It is intended to establish a separate block in every medical college for managing contagious diseases. These facilities will be effective for managing air born and highly dangerous contagious diseases such as Covid-19,
Ebola and Nippa. This year Rs.50 crore is earmarked to set up isolation blocks in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode Medical Colleges.

24.        Sir, as health experts are expecting a third wave of
Covid 19, emergency treatment facilities for children need to be strengthened. As a first step, the bed strength of pediatric ICUs will be enhanced. Pediatric ICU wards will be constructed in selected District Hospitals and Medical Colleges. Rs.25 crore is earmarked as initial phase.

25.        The prime requirement for managing the treatment of critical covid 19 cases is the availability of oxygen. For this, it is intended to set up a Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) plant with 150 metric ton capacity. The plant will have
1000 metric ton reserve storage capacity and will be equipped with tankers for supply. Plants will be established as joint ventures in association with recognized, reliable, and capable companies. For preparing a detailed project report and as initial expenses Rs.25 lakh is earmarked. We will float tender for this by September 15th.

26.        The excellence of the medical sector of our State has widely been accepted. Starting an institution in Kerala in the model of Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in USA, will be a future asset for medical research and mitigation of contagious diseases. The institution will be envisaged as a centre of excellence capable of providing multi-disciplinary skills in controlling contagious diseases. For conducting a feasibility study and to prepare DPR, Rs.50 lakh is earmarked.

Free Vaccine

27.        The crucial mission in this phase is to provide free vaccines to the widest population in the shortest time. Kerala is equipped for that. Vaccines will be made available to all free of cost as soon as possible even if it is at the expense of the State Government.  Certain policy decisions of the Centre still create hindrances in this matter. We will resolve all these hindrances and will provide vaccines for all.  Central Government is withdrawing from responsibility of providing vaccine to persons above 18. But the State Government cannot withdraw from the basic responsibility of the health of citizens. So Rs.1000 crores is earmarked for providing vaccine to all above 18 years of age and Rs.500 crore for the purchase of allied equipments.
An impeccable system will be formulated for vaccine distribution. 

28.        Human resource planning and procedures related to covid control should not be confined to health care workers alone.  Healthcare, rest, and wellbeing of the members of the police force, Local Self Government Institutions, Public Distribution System Workers, People’s representatives and volunteers are also important.  Special efforts will be taken for that.

29.        The State also has a conducive industrial ecosystem for the production of consumables and equipment related to medical care. Scientific research institutions like Sree Chitra Institute of Medical Sciences and Technology, Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Institute of Advanced Virology, VSSC, Electronics Regional Test Laboratory, Universities and other research institutions will play a significant role in this. An amount of Rs. 10 crore is earmarked for its initial expenses.   

30.        It has been understood that if the required general facilities are made available, pharmaceutical companies manufacturing vaccines may establish their production units in Kerala. Similarly, in order to support the vaccine production sector on a long term basis, vaccine research unit has to be established in Kerala. Vaccine research will be commenced at Institute of Advanced Virology under Kerala State Council for Science and Technology. The IAV will take lead in inviting vaccine manufactures to set up their units in the Life Science Park. Rs. 10 crore is earmarked for this.


 

      

III

Loan Scheme for Financial Rejuvenation

         ^^

CONTENTS

 

31.        Comprehensive financial rejuvenation loan scheme will be formulated using primary co-operative societies and commercial banks. Part of the interest will be borne by the State Government. The potential of NABARD’s refinancing scheme will be fully utilised. The potential of loan packages announced by the Central Government and Reserve Bank will also be fully utilised. There are three components to this.

                     i.        Cooperative Initiative for Agriculture Infrastructure in Kerala (CAIK) – A major obstacle in the development process of the agriculture sector is the lack of capital formation. Improving investment credit can boost private capital formation and create local markets, warehouses, cold chain facilities and fruit processing centres for pineapple, banana and mango. Through this, it will be able to engage in areas such as fruit and vegetable markets, modern fish marketing facilities, hygienic meat marketing facilities, processing centres for agriculture products such as vegetables, milk, meat and fish and marketing. Infrastructure rejuvenation loan scheme from NABARD for primary cooperative societies at the rate of 4 % interest will be made available through Kerala Bank. The objective is to provide loans amounting to Rs. 2000 crore in the financial year 2021-22.

                    ii.        Loan scheme for Labour Enterprises – Loans at reduced rate will be made available to start new enterprises in agricultural, industrial, and service sectors to rejuvenate the existing non-operational enterprises. It is aimed to provide loans worth Rs. 1000 crore in 2021-22.

                  iii.        Loans to Kudumbasree Neighbourhood Groups – Bank loans of atleast Rs.1000 crore will be made available to neighbourhood groups through Kudumbasree during 2021-22. All loans upto Rs. 5 lakh will be made available at 4 % interest rate.

An amount of Rs. 100 crore is provided for above mentioned interest subvention.

 

IV

Coastal Distress

         ^^

CONTENTS

 

32.        Kerala was shocked by the arrival of Cyclone Tauktae and Yaas while passing through the peak of the second wave of Covid.  Though Kerala was not in the path of these cyclones, the resultant heavy rainfall wrecked massive damage throughout Kerala. Sea erosion and rough seas plunged the lives in coastal areas into huge distress. In this circumstances, we cannot go ahead with the traditional solutions we have adopted so far against sea attacks and other natural phenomena. A long term solution needs to be formulated by scientifically understanding these natural phenomena. Urgent relief efforts will be completed on war foot basis. This package contains a two-pronged approach: Coastal conservation and improvement of infrastructure in coastal areas.

Coastal Conservation

33.        Even though major portions of the fragile coastal region in Kerala are already protected through sea walls of different sizes, they are either damaged or in weak condition in many places. These have to be reconstructed. The most fragile lands within 40 to 75 metres from sea will be protected using integrating tetrapods and diaphragm walls. Along with the immediate conservation of most fragile areas, bathymetric and hydrographic studies will be conducted for finding out the technologies most suitable to the structure of our coastal areas.

34.        The expertise of Kerala Engineering Research Institute (KERI), Kerala Forest Research Institute (KFRI), National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), IIT, Chennai, IIT, Palakkad, Engineering Colleges, Other Institutions etc. will be utilized for formulating the most suitable strategy for coastal conservation.

35.         The coastal area conservation measures are formulated in such a way that it suitably integrates new technologies like double layered tetrapods with anti-scour layer, mangroves, diaphragm walls with anti-scour layer, rolling barrier systems, geo-containers, and geo-tubes. Extensive stakeholder consultations will be conducted with local participation before finalizing designs. For this, the views of community organizations working in the coastal areas will be sought with the assistance of local self government and Fisheries Department. The estimated expenditure of this project which can be completed five years would be around Rs. 5300 crores. At present, coastal conservation activities for around 50 kms is progressing with financial assistance from KIIFB. An amount of Rs. 1500 crore will be provided as financial assistance from KIIFB towards the first phase of conserving most fragile areas. This work will be tendered in July 2021. Through this, local inhabitants will get the benefits of this project before next monsoon. This project will be completed within four years.

Infrastructure along Coastal Highways

36.        For Coastal Highway Project, a total amount of
Rs. 6500 crore has already been sanctioned from KIIFB. Construction works have been commenced in two reaches. Out of the total 645.19 km, KIIFB has accorded sanction for projects stretching 54.71 km. Drone survey has been completed in most stretches. This project will be completed on priority basis.  Along with this, Eco-friendly Wayside Amenity Centres will be established in every 25 to 30 km along the coastal highway.  For purchasing the land required, KIIFB will provide financial assistance from its land acquisition pool.  Investors will be selected through transparent bidding in a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) mode. Project worth Rs. 240 crore will be implemented through KIIFB. It will be ensured that the construction method of these Amenity Centres will be totally
eco-friendly. It is anticipated that this will bring an additional investment of Rs. 1500 crore to the state.

37.        The construction works of coastal schools and coastal fish markets commenced during the tenure of the previous government are progressing. It is anticipated that development projects including these, worth Rs. 11,000 crore could be implemented in coastal regions in next four years. It is expected that this development package comprising coastal conservation project, coastal highway project and wayside amenity project will provide a huge economic stimulus to the coastal sector. 

 

V

Development and Welfare Sectors

^^

CONTENTS

 

Agriculture and allied Sectors

38.        Youngsters and those who have lost jobs due to the crisis created by covid 19 pandemic have to be attracted towards agriculture sector and fair price to be ensured for the products of farmers.For this, as part of modernisation of Agriculture Development and Farmers Welfare Department Krishi Bhavans have to be made smart with the help of information technology. Integration  of various stages from distribution of quality planting materials, cultivation depending on the nature of the soil, extension activities  of agriculture, harvest, use of warehouses, cold storage chain and marketing will be mordernised using advanced digital technologies like cloud computing, blockchain, artificial intelligence for the benefits of farmers. Rs. 10 crore is allotted for preliminary expenditure.

39.        The Subhiksha Keralam Scheme started under the leadership of first Pinarayi Government for addressing  food scarcity and increasing  income in the context of
Covid 19 has enhanced production in large scale. Everyone took upon themselves the idea of becoming farmers and tried to cultivate the fallow land. Due to these efforts production has  increased considerably. Shortage of godowns equipped with facilities for preservation, drawbacks in procurement and marketing networks etc pushed  the farmers to distress. Even though support price introduced for vegetables helped to a great extent, lack of these infrastructure facilities will affect subsequent farming.

40.        Based on information technology service network shall be started for marketing agriculture products. For this, a pilot project shall be started this year itself in two districts in the State. Farmer producer companies, Co-operative societies and agriculture  markets shall be included in this scheme. An amount of Rs.10 crore is earmarked for this.

41.        Value added products will be made using easily perishable crops like tapioca, other tubers, cashew, mango, jackfruit, different types of bananas, other fruits,  spices etc. Product suitable for industrial use will be promoted,  

42.        The origin of Kerala Bank has set the stage for significantly increasing agricultural loans. Agricultural loans shall be made available at lower interest rates.

43.        Five agro parks will be set up with the participation of farmers and KIIFB.

44.        The state is on the path of achieving self-sufficiency in milk production. But, during covid period dairy farmers struggled to find required market for the milk produced. Construction of a milk powder factory has already been started under government initiative. A factory will be started for the production of Value Added products using milk so as to strengthen the dairy sector. An amount of Rs.10 crore is earmarked for this.

Plantation

45.        Plantation crops are cultivated in 7.12 lakh hectors area across Kerala. This is 27.5 % of the total cultivated area.

46.        Farming of plantation crops is becoming unattractive.
The living standards and income of  thousands of workers in large plantations have come down. Special attention needs to be given for the  development and administrative matters of plantation sector.  For this, Government has decided to strengthen the Plantation Directorate.
Rs. 2 crore is allocated for the same.   

47.        In Kerala, the cultivation of almost all plantation crops had begun during the British rule. And most of the commercial corps were brought from abroad. These varieties, conducive to the topography and climate of Kerala had contributed significantly towards the growth of our economy. The name ‘planters’ had become a synonym for affluent farmers. The collapse which began with the implementation of ASEAN agreement by UPA government led by Sri. Manmohan Singh, ignoring the strong opposition of farmers, shattered the financial position of small and big farmers. With the implementation of ASEAN agreement the prices of domestic agriculture products declined and suicide of farmers increased. The anti-farmer policies pursued by the subsequent NDA Government increased the distress of farmers. The issue engendered by the ASEAN agreement shall be discussed again. For protecting the plantation sector the states concerned shall come together and adopt a policy to re-examine the agreement. Kerala will take initiative for this.

48.        Diversification of plantation crops is the need of the hour. There shall be mechanism for cultivation, procurement, storage and finding market for new fruit varieties like rambutan, avocado and dragon fruit, mangosteen, longan etc in addition to traditional plantation crops. Departments concerned shall take initiative within a short time to conduct studies and discussions to formulate a policy and based on this a scheme shall be prepared within six months.
An amount of Rs. 2 crore is earmarked for initial activities. An amount of Rs. 50 crore is set apart for paying entire arrears of rubber subsidy to farmers in plantation sector.

Environment

49.        Sir, tomorrow is the World Environment Day. “Ecosystem restoration”, which is the motto for this year is very significant for Kerala. Global climate change has resulted in extremely heavy rainfall and frequent floods in Kerala.  As a result of heavy rainfall large amount of silt, clay, sand and waste materials are deposited in rivers and dams. This leads to reduction in storage capacity, obstruction of the natural flow of rivers and change of course of rivers resulting in floods in populated areas. Dumping of wastes containing hazardous elements in water bodies causes water pollution, water borne diseases and considerable depletion of fish wealth. Non-biodegradable wastes including plastic adversely affect the ecosystem of water bodies including seas and causes depletion of fish stock. Urgent measures will be taken for the removal of sand and waste materials from water bodies.

50.        The Post Disaster Need Assessment (PDNA) report published after 2018 flood has recommended to adopt some better systems such as ‘room for river’, ‘living with water’ and ‘eco-friendly construction’. Floods could be contained to a great extent through augmenting and improving water carrying capacity of various water bodies and river basin systems. I am happy to declare a comprehensive package for this.

51.        Multiple components are included in this package. Some of the methods which can be used as part of the scheme are protecting the banks of canals; cleaning of them; deepening through desilting; removal of sand deposited in dams, reservoirs and rivers; construction of mangrove barriers along coastal areas; strengthening or raising of higher portions of land and bunds; deepening of rivers; shifting of bunds and dykes to outlying areas; removal of low level bunds to facilitate free flow of water in flood plains; lowering of flood plains or plain areas adjacent to river banks for ensuring free flow of water; dredging of river and canal beds and making temporary storage mechanisms by creating water retention areas through interlinking lakes, irrigation canals and backwaters. Water resources, Environment and Local Self Government Departments will collectively implement this comprehensive project.
An amount of Rs. 50 crore is earmarked for the first phase of this project with an estimated expenditure of
Rs. 500 crore.

Fisheries Sector

52.        The Congress Government led by Narsimha Rao had opened up deep sea fishing for foreign trollers. The present NDA government has gone  step further and been trying to take away the controlling rights of state governments over coastal sea.  In blue economy policy document, corporates are permitted for coastal and deep sea mining.  The net result will be total disaster for fisheries resources. The stand of left front is contrary to this. Kerala Fish Auctioning, Marketing and Quality Control Ordinance has already been issued for ensuring first selling rights and fair price of fish. Law will be enacted after conducting comprehensive study about aquarium reforms. An amount of Rs 5 crore is allocated for building infrastructure facilities for fish processing considering the possibilities for making value added products.

Food & Civil Supplies Sector

53.        Civil Supplies has started 70 new outlets for stabilizing the price  in public markets. 97 outlets have been upgraded.  Civil Supplies Corporation and Consumerfed will be strengthened.  The wide network of co-operative societies will be utilized for market intervention during festival seasons.  The number of mobile maveli stores will be increased.

54.        Food and Civil Supplies Department has played a vital role in ensuring supply of food items to all in the Sate alleviating the miseries of Covid pandemic.  In addition to the distribution of ration, Supplyco and Ration shops have given special importance to distribute food kits containing 17 essential commodities. As part of renovation of rationshop chains in Kerala, end to end computerization,
E-Pos machines, distribution at door-steps have been implemented.  Any cardholder can purchase from any ration shop in the state.  Grievance redressal mechanism has been introduced.

Local Self Government

55.        Local Self Governments have rendered unique service for covid prevention activities. Through quarantine centres, CFLTCs, CSLTCs, DCCs etc, Local Self Governments could prevent the spread of the disease and ensure better treatment, care, medicine, food etc. for patients.  Prevention of disease could be ensured by co-ordinating ward level committees, rapid response teams, volunteers, youth organizations etc.  The community kitchen activities undertaken through mass participation during lock down period are commendable.

56.        Government has announced a plan to achieve the goal of reduction of extreme poverty. A committee has been formed to conduct a detailed survey in this regard to determine the distress factors and submit suggestions for mitigation. The extreme poverty reduction scheme will be implemented with the participation of local self government institutions. Necessary funds will be provided in the budget. An amount of Rs. 10 crore is initially earmarked.

Health Grant for Local Government

57.        Against the backdrop of Covid pandemic it has been generally recognised that the decentralisation implemented in Kerala has played a significant role towards strengthening the health sector. Fifteenth Finance Commission has appreciated this intervention of the State and has commented that other states shall strengthen their health systems in Kerala model under the leadership of Local Government institutions. This is a matter of pride for Kerala. On the basis of this the Fifteenth Finance Commission has allocated Rs.70,051 crore across India as health grant for five years from 2021-22. The allocation of Kerala for the next five years is Rs.2968 crore. Of this, Rs.559 crore will be allocated this financial year. This will be provided to local governments. This amount will be utilised for strengthening family health sub centres, family health centres, community health centres, urban primary health centres etc. Measures shall be taken for further strengthening of the health institutions by combining the health grants, State Government share and Local Government share.

Kudumbasree

58.        Against  the backdrop of covid 19 crisis the allocation of the existing livelihood package is raised to Rs. 100 crore for providing subsidy to enterprises and for imparting training to those who have lost their livelihoods to find out new ones.

59.        The Kudumbasree is making significant contribution in Agriculture sector for creating barren free Kerala through 70,000 women collective farming groups and ensuring food self sufficiency. In order to uplift these farmers to the next stage, an amount of Rs. 10 crore is earmarked for starting value added production units through Kudumbasree.

60.        In order to utilize employment opportunities in care economy, manpower will be provided in each grama panchayath after giving training for the care of geriatric, differently abled etc.

61.        10,000 auxiliary neighbourhood units will be started this year for ensuring representation of young women from families in Kudumbasree.

62.        With the idea that ‘safe food is people’s right’, procurement will be done from indigenous farmers selling only pesticide free local vegetables and fruits and it will be sold through Self-help Group Stores of Kudumbasree. This will encourage the farmers to follow good agricultural practices and thereby ensure fair price.  Besides, consumers will also get good local vegetables at lower price. Kerala Bank will provide loan for purchasing necessary vehicles for new stores and store renovation. 2 to 3 % subsidy will be given to those who repay the loan in time.

Employment Guarantee Schemes

63.        More employment opportunities will be created through Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and Ayyankali Urban Employment Guarantee Scheme.In the year 2019-20, 8.02 crore person    days of employment  were created .  As a result of special efforts during last year 10.23 crore person days of employment  could be generated in 2020-21.  In the current year, the Union Government has accorded sanction for a labour budget of  7.5 crore person days of employment .  This is not at all sufficient.  At least 12 crore person days of employment  have to be created.  Efforts will be made to modify labour budget and implement it.

64.        Due to the peculiarities of Kerala’s topography, watershed based planning is inevitable for prosperity in agriculture.  Reservoirs, drainage channels, soil conservation structures required for this have to be constructed and maintained. For this Employment Guarantee Programme will be utilized extensively. 

65.        If necessary, additional amount will be allocated for  Ayyankali Employment Guarantee Scheme which provides employment to the urban poor.

Education Sector

66.        Government intends to implement various action plans to alleviate the mental stress of our children who have been confined to the four walls of homes from the happy school atmosphere comprising teachers and classmates.
A committee comprising educational, health and social experts will be entrusted for conducting a detailed study on the subject.

67.        Covid transmission has caused various mental health problems and anxiety regarding  future in children and parents. In order to resolve this issue, a permanent system for giving counselling through tele / online platforms will be started.

68.        Besides, steps will be taken to promote creativity of children, exhibit their art and craft works and telecast the selected works through Victers Channel. Required training for this will also be given to children through Victers Channel.

69.        Special physical education sessions incorporating yoga and other exercises for enhancing the physical health, wellbeing and immunity of children will be telecast through Victers Channel.

70.        Along with the classes on KITE Victers Channel, online classes led by the teachers of respective schools will also be organised. Incorporating the technologies of virtual reality and augmented reality a common online teaching platform will be created for children to make learning possible as in school atmosphere. An amount of Rs. 10 crore is earmarked for this.

71.        KSFE has formulated a scheme for providing 2 lakh laptops to school children for online education. This will be implemented in a time bound manner.

Higher Education

72.        Greater importance has to be given to higher education sector. For this, several programs and proposals have been illustrated in the Budget declaration of January. The current explosion of knowledge at the international level has changed our perceptions on employment and livelihood. In order to move along with it, a rapid transformation towards a knowledge society is essential in Kerala today.  A timely restructuring is required in all fields from school level to higher education including research so that the level of knowledge production and its application would be possible for whole of Kerala. The Government consider it  an urgent duty to rebuild our education system in such a way as to develop the capacity for knowledge creation in the new environment and to create a new Kerala society with the skills to create impact in the local and global job sectors. A high power commission will be constituted to examine our education system and submit report within three months containing practical recommendation to reorganize it.

73.        The Sree Narayana Guru Open University which started functioning on 2nd October, 2020, urgently needs to be provided with basic facilities. An additional amount of Rs.10 crore is set apart for this.

Knowledge Economy Mission

74.        The Budget presented in January declared a comprehensive plan  for providing employment to the educated. Following this, the Hon’ble Chief Minister inaugurated the project on 9th February. For this K-Disc was given the task of coordinating various government agencies.

75.        As part of this, the Kerala Technological University has set up  Kerala Digital Work Force Management System (DWMS). As on May 27th 2021, more than 27,000 job aspirants have registered with it. Steps have been taken to consider it as a Sub Mission of Kudumbasree. 1048 Community Resource Persons, 152 block coordinations for training and 14 District Programme Executives for training for Kudumbasree and Kudumbasree State Level Mission team will mobilise their work with District Programme Executive of K-Disc and 274 skill development executives of ASAP.

76.        The ICT Academy has set up a system to evaluate the profiles of educated unemployed youth, provide them with career counselling and enroll them in micro training programmes. The expression of interest has been invited as a first step for setting up a mechanism to link professional HR agencies and placement officers within it.

77.        The biggest challenge is to connect trained job seekers with employers and facilitate their subsequent engagement thereby ensuring the development of the digital platform and the potential for new opportunities. Based on discussions with leading personalities in the field of industry, it has been resolved that it would be better to join with existing entrepreneurs availing their  technological components rather than developing a modern digital platform. This will enable K-Disc to better understand the market and improve its skill assessment programmes accordingly. Expression of interest has been invited from entrepreneurs who are willing to collaborate with K-Disc in developing a digital platform in this manner.

78.        The famous global recruitment portal brand named ‘Monster’, having wide network for placement of jobs in various countries has been cooperating with the Kerala Knowledge Mission. Monster India has over 3 lakh active employment opportunities in India from forty thousand employers. Freelancer.com, the world’s largest freelance marketing network spread across 247 countries, has also expressed their interest. In corporation with them possibilities are being explored for creating a micro site at DWMS.

79.        As part of the project, a plan will be drawn up to provide basic facilities and a social security system for knowledge workers, working close to their homes and interacting with employers.

80.        K-Disc has been registered as a society with the
Chief Minister as the Chairperson, Finance Minister as
Vice Chairperson and Ministers for Industries, Higher Education, Labour and Skills and Agriculture as members. I am glad to announce the ongoing event under the auspices of K-Disc as a knowledge economy mission. Direction has already been given to submit the comprehensive project report of this to the Government before 15th July. As part of creating Kerala knowledge society the allocation for ‘knowledge economy fund’ for skill promotion, technological transformation and strengthening of higher education system is increased from
Rs. 200 crore to Rs. 300 crore.

Ayush

81.        For enhancing the immunity and for post covid
treatments, medicines will be made available through Ayush Department. Rs.20 crore is earmarked for this.

Tourism Sector

82.        The spread of covid has been a set back to the Tourism Sector, which is the main stay of our economy. Tourism is a crucial sector in the GSDP of the State. This sector provides employment to 5 lakh people directly and 20 lakh people indirectly. In the first phase of Covid spread, the international tourism sector saw a decline of about 80 %. This has reflected in the Kerala economy also. Covid’s second transmission and subsequent restrictions, have wiped out the livelihoods of those in the tourism sector.

83.        Although, the full return of the tourism sector will be possible only after the end of the second spread of covid, the necessary preparations for this need to be made well in advance. The Government is focusing on reviewing the post covid tourism potential and formulating long term plans to ensure rapid growth in the sector. Given the long term impact of covid, the Government will encourage a responsible tourism approach based on environmental reconstruction, taking the crisis as an opportunity for further progress.

84.        In addition to the existing provision of Rs.100 crore, an amount of Rs.50 crore is additionally earmarked to Tourism Department for marketing. Loan amounting to Rs. 400 crore will be made available through KFC for mobilizing more working capital in the Tourism Sector. Amphibian vehicles, that move both in water and on land, will be launched. It will be started in Kollam, Kochi, Thalassery regions in the first phase. Rs. 5 crore is provided for this.

85.        Most of the enterprises in tourism sector are on the verge of closure due to the financial crisis resulting from Covid.  In order to resolve these issues in the sector a rejuvenation package will be implemented. Tourism Department will prepare details of the package. An amount of Rs.30 crore is earmarked as Government share.

86.        It is expected that the impact of the second wave of covid in Kerala will come down before the next tourist season. Preparations and stratagies are to be formulated to attract international and domestic tourists to Kerala as an important tourist centre. It is intended to carry out the kind of campaign activities that we successfully implemented during flood. As part of it, two circuit tourism projects are announced.

                     i.        Malabar Literary Circuit – Tourism circuit joining places such as Thunjan Memorial, Beypore, Thasrak, Ponnani, Trithala and banks of Bharathapuzha that became famous through Thunjath Ezhuthachan, Vaikom Muhammed Basheer, O.V.Vijayan and M.T Vasudevan Nair respectively.

                    ii.        Bio- Diversity Circuit – A bio-diversity circuit connecting the places such as Ashtamudi Lake, Munroethuruth, Kottarakara, Meenpidipara, Muttara-Maruthimala, Jadayu Rock, Thenmala and Achancovil in Kollam District.

An amount of Rs. 50 crore is earmarked for these circuits. 

Industry

87.        Low interest rate loans will be made available to M.S.M.Es. Additional working capital loans and term loans will be made available to existing MSMEs at lower rates. It is aimed to provide loans amounting Rs.2000 Crore.
Rs.50 crore is earmarked for interest subvention.

88.        An additional Rs. 25 crore is provided for Entrepreneur Support Scheme (ESS) currently being implemented by the Department of Industries and Rs. 15 crore for Margin Money and Interest Assistance Scheme for Nano Industrial Housing Units project.

Scheduled caste / Scheduled Tribe Sector

89.        The first-generation development problems of the Scheduled castes / Scheduled Tribes have not been fully addressed. In addition to seeking solution to first generation problems, second generation problems also need to be taken up with greater importance. As part of this, two programs are announced. Firstly, hundred persons selected from among the Scheduled castes / Scheduled Tribes will be given entrepreneurship assistance of Rs. 10 lakh each. Comprehensive initial assistance will be ensured for selected entrepreneurs. Low interest credit facility will also be ensured. This will be in addition to the existing entrepreneurship development programs.
Rs. 10 crore is earmarked for this.    

90.        The second is the talent support programs. The programs started at the district panchayat level is planned to be expanded with the participation of the Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled Tribes Development Departments. This assistance is for SC/ST youths who have proved their talent in the field of art, culture and literature to make them continue to work and move forward in the field. Talent support will be given to 1500 individuals at the rate of Rs 1 lakh per person. In addition to this interest free loans will be provided to those who receive Talent support Assistance to carry out their activities. Details of the programs will be prepared by Local Self Government Department and Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe Development Department.

NORKA

91.        The Covid pandemic has created severe impact among Pravasi Keralites. Due to Covid Pandemic 14,32,736 Pravasis have returned so far and most of them have lost their jobs. Norka Self Employment Scheme is a rehabilitation programme to rehabilitate Pravasis who lost their jobs and to equip them to begin self-employment enterprises. 

92.        As part of this program, an amount of Rs. 1000 crore will be provided as loan at low interest in association with various financial institutions. An amount of Rs.25 crore is earmarked as interest subvention. The budget allocation towards various welfare schemes for expatriate Keralites is enhanced to Rs.170 crore.

Kerala Financial Corporation

93.        As per the provisional accounts of 31st March 2021, the loan asset of KFC, which was Rs.2400 crore in 2016, increased to Rs. 4700 crore. Necessary steps will be taken to enhance the loan asset of KFC to Rs. 10,000 crore in the next five years. KFC will sanction new loans to the tune of Rs. 4500 crore in this financial year.

94.        Additional loan of 20% was sanctioned to traders in the last financial year who had taken loans from KFC and repaid it in time till 31st March, 2020 to recover from the covid crisis. In the second wave of Covid, Tourism sector and small scale industries sector have again plunged into crisis. Taking this into consideration, KFC will present a project to give additional loan of 20% again, ie. 40% in total, to these entrepreneurs. KFC will set apart Rs. 500 crore for this. Moratorium on  payment of principal for one year will be given to entrepreneurs facing the crisis.

95.        KFC will provide  loan upto Rs. 50 lakhs on liberal conditions to the firms which manufacture products helping to prevent covid spread and provide relief to patients under the Chief Minister’s Entrepreneur Development Project. The rate of interest will be 7%. The loan is  for establishing units for manufacturing of Oxygen cylinder, Oxygen generator, Oxygen concentrator, liquid oxygen, ventilator, pulse oximeter and portable x-ray machine.

Transport

96.        KSRTC is an important public sector corporation in Kerala which has been hit hard by the covid 19 pandemic. At present, salary, pension and other liabilities are met with the assistance from Government. Therefore, as an initial step to reduce the operational loss of KSRTC, the corporation’s 3000 diesel buses will be converted  to CNG. The estimated expenditure for this would be Rs. 300 crore. The allocation for current financial year is enhanced to Rs. 100 crore.

97.        A project will be formulated with KIIFB for the mobility hub of KSRTC at Puthukkad (Hub and Spoke Model) and for the construction of modern bus stand at Kollam.

98.        As a new step towards ecofriendly transport, 10 new hydrogen powered buses will be launched on a pilot basis in collaboration with Indian Oil Corporation and CIAL.
An amount of Rs.10 crore is earmarked as Government share.

99.        In collaboration with financial institutions, a loan scheme will be formulated for making available fuel efficient and eco-friendly electric two wheelers and automobiles to those who are engaged  in various ordinary jobs, using two-wheelers such as newspaper distributors, fish vendors, retailers and home delivery boys. In the financial year 2021-22 an amount of Rs. 200 crore will be made available as loan for the purchase of 10,000 two wheelers and 5000 autorickshaws. The Government will bear a portion of interest. Rs.15 crore is provided for interest subvention.

100.        Significant achievement has been made towards  enhancing the quality of roads and bridges in Kerala during the tenure of the first Pinarayi Government. But the traffic snarls occurred at the busy junctions in the National Highways and MC roads have to be addressed. A scientific study is necessary for resolving this issue immediately.
An amount of Rs.5 crore is earmarked for the study and other initial expenses. 


 

Renewable Energy

101.        The Centre of Renewable Energy will be set up at University of Kerala to conduct research in the field of green energy and create awareness among the people about renewable energy. Rs. 10 lakh is earmarked for its feasibility study.

Revenue

102.        As part of bringing accurate land records and related services to the public, a digital resurvey based on CORS Technology will be completed in the State during the tenure of this government itself in a time bound manner.

103.        Steps will be taken to make all the Village Offices in the State and their services ‘Smart’ by the next five years.

Social Justice

104.        An amount of Rs. 5 crore is earmarked in the  initial phase of  Smart Kitchen project announced by the government to alleviate the difficulty in domestic work. This project will be implemented through KSFE.    

105.        Government has announced a special package for the protection of children who lost their parents due to Covid pandemic. An amount of Rs. 3 lakh will be given in lumpsum. A monthly  assistance of Rs. 2000 each will be provided till the age of 18 and the educational expense till graduate level will be borne by the government.
An amount of Rs. 5 crore is earmarked for this.

Culture

106.        An amount of Rs. 2 crore is earmarked to construct an appropriate memorial for K. R. Gouri Amma who was a unique personality in Kerala Politics.

107.        An amount of Rs. 2 crore is earmarked to construct a memorial at Kottarakara for R. Balakrishna Pillai, who was actively present in State Politics and Society for six decades.

108.        An amount of Rs. 50 Lakh is earmarked for establishing ‘Mar Chrysostom Chair’ in Mahatma Gandhi University with an aim to propagate the values of humanity in different religious philosophies.

Governance

109.        All departments will be equipped to provide all government services online to citizens. This programme will be officially launched on the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi on
2nd October, 2021.

110.        To speed up the Government services, e-office and e-file systems will be implemented in all departments in a time bound manner.

Venture Capital Fund

111.        It is proposed to set up a Venture Capital Fund with a corpus of Rs.100 crore to activate the rapid growth of small scale enterprises and start-ups. The fund would be mobilized through the participation of KFC, KSFE, KSIDC, Kerala State Co-operative Bank, Commercial Banks and the deposits of Non-Resident Keralites. This fund would help the fast growing technical and non-technical  enterprises with potential for rapid growth.   An experienced professional management team will be formed to manage this fund. An amount of Rs.1 crore is earmarked to set up this fund for meeting the initial expenses.

VI

Taxes

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CONTENTS

 

112.        Though tax increase is inevitable in the State’s financial situation, no new tax proposals are announced in the context of Covid pandemic.  

113.        Pursuant to the dissolution of 14th Legislative Assembly, the proposals in the Finance Bill of 2021 had lapsed.
I intend to restore all the clauses in that bill.

114.        Further, it would be clarified that the assessees who had paid at least one instalment and defaulted on the rest in the amnesty scheme for 2020, the amount involved in that instalment will be adjusted as payment towards the earliest of the demand arrear.

115.        Amendments in the Kerala State GST Act will be made corresponding to the amendments incorporated in the Central Goods and Services Act as per the Union Finance Act 2021 which have been made on the recommendation of the GST Council.

      

VII

Conclusion

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CONTENTS

 

116.        Sir, Let me present the summary of the revised budget estimate for the year 2021-22.

Revised Budget Estimate for 2021-22

(₹in crore)

Revenue Receipts

130981.06

Revenue Expenditure

147891.18

Revenue Deficit

-16910.12

Capital Expenditure (net)

-12546.17

Loans and advances (Net)

-1241.30

Public Debt (Net)

24419.91

Public Account (Net)

6250.00

Overall Deficit

-27.68

Opening balance at the beginning of the year

-124.01

Closing balance at the end of the year

-151.69

Additional expenditure announced

-1715.10

Cumulative Deficit at the end of the year

-1866.79

117.        It is anybody’s guess that the state is facing great financial challenges. Demonetization, implementation of GST without much preparedness, cyclone Ockhi, floods, first and second waves of the pandemic and the resultant economic slowdown have all adversely affected state revenues. Revenue growth rates have fallen to the lowest levels in the recent past. But government expenditure increased. This is quite natural in a crisis situation.  

118.        During economic slowdown and natural disasters, Government could have stepped aside by reducing the expenditure. But, this is not the approach of the Left Front.  During a crisis, the Left approach is to stand upfront and save the society even through borrowings. The first Pinarayi Government has done that. This Government will also follow the same policy.

119.         But it is beyond doubt that we could not withstand without increasing the tax and non-tax revenues. Austerity measures will also become inevitable. Government will formulate the most comprehensive plan for revenue enhancement and expenditure reduction. Preliminary activities for that have already begun. But a time of crisis is not the right time for expenditure reduction and higher taxes. 

120.         If we could heal the impact of the Covid pandemic, the economy will rapidly return to normalcy, and we will achieve better growth.  In that phase, vigorous efforts will be initiated to increase tax and non-tax revenues. The State GST machinery is being thoroughly streamlined. One thing is clear. If everyone starts remitting their due tax, our fiscal stress could be easily overcome. People will be ready for that.  Our people have seen the manner in which the Government functioned during crisis situations. People appreciated that by contributing liberally to the CMDRF.
I am sure that our citizens will be similarly enthusiastic and diligent in remitting their due taxes.

121.         We do not believe in tax collection by intimidating and coercing traders and industrialists. Once trade and industry grow, they will be ready to remit more tax.  The majority honestly pay their taxes. There is a small minority who tries to evade. We will strengthen our efforts to identify and penalize tax evaders. Fresh revenue sources will be explored as the economy comes back to the growth track.

122.         Local Governments have enormous potential in increasing their tax and non-tax revenue. Efforts to mobilize additional revenue by harnessing this potential through rate revision and rule amendments have not taken off for the past few years.  Local Government leadership have generally taken a favorable stance in adopting revenue enhancement measures.  Once the covid crisis is over and economy returns to growth, reforms will be implemented in tax and non-tax revenue matters after considering the recommendations of the State Finance Commission. Government is starting the necessary groundwork needed for that now itself.

123.         Sir, the ability of mankind to move forward strongly facing challenges has brought the world to this extent.
The survival models attained over centuries has help us to over come the distress period of the pandemic. Let us strive together to amass energy for moving forward from these crises. We will surely overcome this period also.

124.         Sir, I submit the revised budget for the year 2021-22 before the approval of this august House. The vote on account for the next three months (August 2021 to October 2021) is also placed for the approval of this House.