Kerala Budget highlights: From Uber-like ambulance service to ending manual scavenging, Kerala Finance Minister, Thomas Issac, gave a bumper budget as he announced the Kerala budget 2018 in Thiruvananthapuram today. One of the major announcements was that now, for the redevelopment of the coastal region, Rs 2000 crore has been allotted by Thomas Issac. The Finance Minister also promised to offer comprehensive health insurance to all in the state. The budget presented today will be followed by another full Budget which will be presented before March 31 in the state. This is done to give the departments enough time to spend the allocation and utilise it in project implementation. The tourism in the state also got a big boost as Rs 824 crore has been allotted for the development of the tourism. What can be announced as a path-breaking move by the Finance Minister, Rs 10 crore has been set aside for transgender people in Kerala Budget. Check out the Kerala budget 2018 highlights:
1. FM Thomas Issac fulfills the promise of women-friendly Budget. 13.6% of the budgetary allocation is for women
2. Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) revival a key area of focus, set to get Rs 1,000 crore
3. Indian made foreign liquor which costs more than Rs 400 gets 210 percent tax. The tax on beer has been revised to 100%. Another key change is that BEVCO will take over the sales of foreign-made liquor.
4. Comprehensive healthcare initiatives such as new oncology departments in all medical colleges, trauma centers in all Taluk hospitals, Rs 17 crore allotted for mental health care, Uber-type ambulances to be introduced throughout the state, upgradation of medical facilities and personnel and more.
5. Rs 2000 crore package allotted for coastal development, with Rs 150 cr allotted for the purpose of rehabilitation. Further, Rs 600 crore has been allotted for the state’s fishing sector.
6. Rs 824 crore allotted for tourism development with initiatives to promote the state’s heritage tourism such as Spice Route on the lines of the Muziris. Onam, boat race, and the much celebrated Kochi-Muziris Biennale receives a boost, given that Rs 16 crore has been allotted for the same.
7. Schools in coastal areas will be revamped. Free WiFi availability to be made available for the state’s coastal regions.
8. In a first, Rs 10 crore has been announced for transgender people in Kerala Budget 2018-19.
9. With the introduction of 2015 land tax which translates into higher land taxes, the Kerala government is betting on tapping into this to tide over the state’s financial crisis.