Friday, February 20, 2009

Kerala budget highlights

The budget shows deficit of Rs 934 crore and estimates total revenue at Rs 28,153.90 crore, expenditure at Rs 31,161.85 crore and a revenue deficit of Rs 3,007.95 crore.

Mobilisation of an additional Rs 574.29 crore by tapping non-tax revenue.

No new taxes imposed.

Hike in welfare pensions.

Rice would be supplied at Rs two a kg to families below the poverty line.

Rs 10,000 crore special package to tide over the slowdown in the economy due to the global recession.

Waiver of loans up to Rs 25,000 taken from government institutions by Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and converted Christians.

Schemes worth Rs 5,000 crore for implementing drinking water and irrigation projects.

Rs 250 crore earmarked as food subsidy with the objective of ensuring supply of essential commodities at reasonable prices for all.

The funds would also be utilised for improving infrastructure facilities.

Anticipating a reverse migration from the Gulf during the recession period, the government announced a welfare fund of Rs ten crore for giving financial assistance to those who returned from Gulf countries. The Kerala Financial Corporation (KFC) would also give Rs 100 crore worth loan to Gulf returnees, he said.

A sum of Rs 300 crore was anticipated from the sale of construction sand from the reservoirs in the state.

Lease rent for government land given to private parties would be hiked to mobilise a substantial amount. One-time settlement scheme would be introduced for settling sales tax, stamp duty and other areas.

Tax reduction for a number of khadi and small scale products.

Massive campaign will be carried out to replace incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient CFL lamps during 2009-10. Rs 20 crore would be set apart as giving subsidy for undertaking this mega campaign. This would save 780 mega watt electricity during peak hours. This almost equals the generating capacity of the mega Idukki hydel project. The state electricity board, would distribute the CFL lamps. It would charge Rs 15 from the consumers as part of their electricity consumption bill.

Rs 10.9 crore allocated for promoting traditional energy sources.

The windfarm in Ramakkalmedu would be given Rs 10 crore.

Nine new power projects would be set up during the year.

Rs 64 crore for ''food security scheme'' in the budget for 2009-2010.

Rs 56 crore for increasing paddy production. It would also make available an additional Rs 30 crore from the 'Rashtriya Krishivikas Yojana'.

The government would renovate 177 lift irrigation projects in Thrisssur and Malabar area at a cost of Rs 20 crore.

Rs 134 crore for big and medium irrigation projects.

Rs 125 crore was required for creating infrastructure facilities in Thrissur, Ponnani and Mepayoor in Kozhikode, Kattamabally in Kannur, Kabani in Wayanad and Ernakulam Pokali, which would pave way for the cultivation of an additional 20,000 hectres. Rs 20 crore allocated in the budget as administrative sanction.

Plan for replantation of coconut palms in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam and Alappuzha districts after felling the affected palms, jointly with Coconut Development Board. The project would be completed in three years, the total expenditure for the project would be Rs 500 core. Rs 10 crore earmarked in the budget as the share of the state. In addition Rs 15 crore has also been earmarked for the development of coconut.

Rs 15 crore would be provided as a share capital for the Coastal Development Corporation as it's an important initiative taken by the government in the fishing sector. The Corporation would construct ten fishing harbours in the State through loans. Implement a comprehensive sea safety scheme aimed to rescue fishermen from natural calamities and accidents in the sea.

The Budget allocation for Tsunami-related works raised to Rs 70 crore from Rs 50 crore allotted in the previous Budget.

Rs 10 crore earmarked for creating job opportunities connected with fish processing and marketing in the view of the global economic recession. Rs 1.50 crore allocated for Matsyakeralam Project.

Rs 10 crore set apart for setting up welfare fund for migrant labourers.

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