Kerala finance minister TM Thomas Isaac on Friday is presenting the 68th state Budget in the Assembly. This is the first full Budget of the Pinarayi Vijayan government.
Read full coverage of Kerala Budget in Malayalam here: www.samakalikamalayalam.com
The Budget contained social welfare measure such as a boost to statewide internet connectivity, the creation of jobs in education and health sectors, houses for the homeless, and reservations for the diffently-abled.
However, the Assembly was in for some high-level drama as opposition members boycotted the session over the alleged leak of the key portions of the document on social media. Some of the opposition members entered the wall of the House when the finance minister was in the middle of his speech.
Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala alleged that the Budget was already being circulated on the social media even before Thomas Isaac read out the Budget speech in the assembly. "The Budget has been leaked. It has lost its sanctity," he said.
As Isaac was about to end his Budget speech, Chennithala held a parallel presser at the Assembly’s media room reading out the ‘leaked’ contents of the key financial statement.
12:00 pm: Thomas Isaac's Budget speech ends amid high drama.
11:55 am: Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala says the Budget has lost its sanctity; demands Finance Minister Thomas Isaac's resignation.
11:45 am: Opposition leaders reading out the 'leaked' contents of the Budget 2017 outside the House in protest.
11:40 am: Opposition led by United Democratic Front (UDF) and Kerala Congress (M) boycott Budget presentation. MLAs stage a walkout alleging Budget highlights were e-mailed to the media and were sent on WhatsApp groups by Finance Minister's office when the speech was going on.
11:35 am: Budget presentation disrupted due to the allegations against Finance Minister's office over budget getting leaked on social media.
11:30 am: Opposition leader criticizes state Finance Minister as details of budget get leaked on social media before its presentation in the Assembly. The allegations lead to a ruckus.
11:25 am: Kerala Budget to expand Mineral Sand Mining in the public sector. Tourism boost for Wayanad and Kasargod packages as both get allocated Rs 20 crore and Rs 19 crore respectively.
11:20 am: Kerala Budget to implement Rs 25,000 crore projects through KIIFBI. Kerala State Financial Enterprises to start chit fund for Non-resident Keralites (NRKs); targets one lakh subscribers initially.
11:15 am: Rs two crore allocated to the Kochi Biennale, and Rs 25 crore to Sabarimala masterplan.
11:10 am: Rs 470 crore allocated to medical education.
11:05 am: Rs 100 crore allocated to Kerala State Film Development Corporation for developing movie theatres.
10:45 am: Water taxi on Ernakulam-Kumarakom-Muhamma route.
10:40 am: A Marine Ambulance service to be launched at a cost of Rs 2 crore.
10:35 am: All state districts to have parks for autistic children.
10:30 am: Rs 6500 crore allocated for 630 km coastal roads.
10:25 am: Rs 420 crore to promote and protect traditional festivals like Vallamkali (boat race) and Pooram (Temple festival).
10:20 am: Focus on promoting hardware manufacturing in the state. Kerala will be made a state where internet service is peoples' right. Internet service to be provided at a subsidised rate, says Thomas Isaac. State government proposes free internet facility to 20 lakh poor families. Boost for 1500 startups by the state agencies.
10:15 am: Finance minister Thomas Isaac announces 5% reservation in higher education for differently-abled and 4% quota in jobs.
10:10 am: Fisheries sector to get Rs 1,100 crore, insurance for fishing equipment.
10:05 am: A record Rs 2,600 crore for Scheduled Caste welfare and Rs 750 crore for the welfare of Scheduled Tribes.
09:55 am: Rs 250 crore for welfare of differently-abled, Rs 900 crore for Public Distribution System, Rs 700 crore for paddy procurement.
09:50 am: 4,210 new posts, including doctors and nurses, to be created in the health sector.
09:45 am: Free treatment for lifestyle induced diseases such as diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol. Social pension allocation gets Rs 1100 crore.
09:40 am: Kerala to be made destitute-free state. One lakh houses for homeless people in in the next one year.
09:45 am: All social security pensions hiked to Rs 1,100 a month says Finance Minister.
09:40 am: Rs500 crore investment in KIIFB for government schools having student strength above 1000.
09:30 am: State government promises houses for one lakh homeless persons in 2017-18, says Finance Minister.
09:25 am: 2,500 new teachers' posts to be created in 5 years. Rs 500 crore from Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) infrastructure development of govt schools which have 1,000 students on rolls.
09:20 am: Affordable medicines for organ transplant patients.
09:15 am: Rs 127cr to Suchitwa Mission for waste treatment. Rs100 crore each for modernisation of abattoirs and crematoriums. Infrastructure projects worth Rs 25,000 crore will be sanctioned in 2017-18 through KIIFB.