When Kerala Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Issac presented the 68th state budget in the Assembly today, he would not have anticipated that the state assembly would witness dramatic scenes and that Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala would hold a parallel budget presentation in the media room in the assembly!
Believe it or not, this actually happened! Not just that, Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala mocked Finance Minister Thomas Issac as a ‘man of social media’ and categorically stated that the document had been leaked from the Kerala Finance Minister’s office. He also stated that the Budget speech had begun at 9 am but was already leaked before 10.30 AM. The sanctity of the Budget document is lost, Ramesh Chennithala said.
An uproar broke out following these allegations.Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Issac has firmly rejected these allegations and said that documents were not leaked.
Throughout his address, Kerala Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Issac had mocked the Centre and the demonetisation move. He probably didn’t expect to be mocked like this by Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala!
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This is the second Budget being presented by the ruling Pinarayi Vijayan-led government. It is also the first one following the announcement on demonetisation. Given the increasing reports of crimes against women and children in the state, a first-of-its-kind gender statement accompanied this year’s Budget. The objective is to highlight the benefits and allocation for women and what their share is from every initiative.
According to earlier reports, there were expectations around measures to be announced regarding tackling drought, boosting the state’s tourism sector, revival of the Kerala State Transport Corporation, sops to promote organic farming in the state and initiatives that boost the education and health sector among others. It was also expected that welfare pensions would go up and that has reflected in this year’s state budget that was announced today.