Kerala Budget 2018 Highlights: The Kerala government today presented its budget which focussed on fiscal consolidation, restricting the creation of new posts and purchase of vehicles.
Kerala Budget 2018 Highlights: The Kerala government today presented its budget which focussed on fiscal consolidation, restricting the creation of new posts and purchase of vehicles. The government of Kerala has been facing a severe financial crisis. Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac has given a big relief to the fisherfolk by allocating a package of Rs 2,000 crore in the wake of cyclone Ockhi. Under this big package, the fishing vessels and coastal villages would be linked through a satellite-based navigation and weather forecasting system and the disaster management authority had already given shape to it. Isaac also added that the government has earmarked Rs 10 crore to entrust a global agency to prepare a detailed project report of the coastal development package. From healthcare to liquor to luxury cars, here are some of the big takeaways from Kerala Budget 2018.
1. The government has announced a comprehensive health care scheme through Kerala lottery. NRI chits of Kerala State Financial Enterprises (KSFE) will be started in next March-April.
2. The government has also set apart Rs 1267 crore for welfare schemes for women and promised to clear by March dues of Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) pensioners, held up since the past six months.
3. In Isaac’s over two-hour long speech dotted by references to works of various women writers, the minister also announced that the rehabilitation package for Endosulfan victims would be fully implemented. In the first phase, Rs 50 crore had been sanctioned
4. Curbs have also been imposed on the purchase of government vehicles by various departments. “Instead of purchasing new vehicles, they can be hired on rent which would save costs by at least one-third,” he said.
5. The government has also hiked the tax on Indian Made Foreign Liquor by 200 per cent. As per the latest budget, the liquor costing Rs 400 would be taxed 200 per cent and 210 per cent for liquor costing above Rs 400.
5. The government has also stressed the need for reducing travel expenses. Foreign tours would be allowed only if necessary and video conferencing should be made use of to the
6. Use of landline telephones should be reduced with stress on shifting to cost-effective packages of mobile phones.
7. Purchase of luxury cars costing over Rs 14 lakh should be discouraged, Isaac said.
8. The government has allocated Rs 1,267 crore for women welfare schemes, Rs 10 crore for welfare of transgenders and Rs 200 crore for various schemes for ‘Kudumbashree’, a woman neighbourhood network.
9. The government has set apart Rs 970 crore for school education and Rs 954 crore for food subsidy in the budget. Providing much-needed help to revamp the ailing KSRTC, the government has set apart Rs 1,000 crore. The pension arrears will be cleared by March.
10. Every year the government was spending Rs 6000 crore on social security pension while the previous Congress-led UDF government had disbursed about Rs 1680 crore, Isaac said.