The meeting of the MPs from the state held here on Tuesday decided to press for railway zone for Kerala in the upcoming monsoon session of Parliament. The meeting which was chaired by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy also decided to urge the Centre to fix the import duty on rubber at 20 per cent.
Addressing a press conference after the meeting, Cultural Affairs Minister K C Joseph said that it was also decided at the meeting to ask the Centre to sanction an assistance of Rs 607 crore for the recent monsoon-related calamities in the state.
‘’Though Kerala is eligible for only Rs 407 Central assistance under Central norms, considering the special situation the State Government will ask the Centre to allot an additional Rs 200 crore assistance,’’ he said.
He said that the Steel Authority of India has come forward expressing its willingness to be part in the construction of the Palakkad coach factory. ‘’The Centre will be urged to take necessary steps towards speeding up the setting up of the factory,’’ he said. The Minister said that the meeting also discussed in detail about the problems faced by students who had availed of educational loans. ‘’The Centre has already declared an interest waiver on loans for students coming from families having annual income of Rs 3 lakh or less. The banks in the state are publicising that students who have more than 60 per cent marks in their qualification exam are eligible for educational loans. But the RBI has fixed the mark limit at 50 per cent. This will also be brought to the attention of state- level Bankers committee,’’ he said.
It was also decided at the meeting that the MPs from the state will demand to include Kerala in the second phase of Grameen Sadak Yojana to develop roads in villages. “The demand will be put forward as Kerala has completed its first phase,’’ he said. Joseph said the meet also decided to entrust the Chief Secretary to hold talks with officials regarding the implementation of 10-point programme at Attapadi tribal belt.