Kerala Budget: No solace to the flood-hit in state

The budget presented on Thursday by Finance Minister Thomas Isaac is a big disappointment as it has not given solace to the flood-affected millions of our state.

Published: 01st February 2019 03:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st February 2019 05:04 AM   |  A+A-

Kerala floods

Kerala floods (Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

The budget presented on Thursday by Finance Minister Thomas Isaac is a big disappointment as it has not given solace to the flood-affected millions of our state. People expected focussed projects for elevating their problems from the first post-disaster budget. Instead, Isaac narrated so many (more than two dozens) projects from the elevated railway to the unsuccessful Kerala Bank.

But, the minister did not forget to impose a 1 per cent disaster-cess, cleverly bagging more than Rs 1,000 crore. Even this additional income has not been targeted towards the flood-affected households. He could have written off the education loans of the poor students who lost their parents in the floods and waived off the agricultural loans of the worst-affected farmers.

C P John

A party that has been lamenting about the agrarian crisis all over the country has forgotten the double-burdened peasantry of the flood-affected districts of the state.

At the same time, the finance minister is harping on the same chord with his favourite KIIFB. He still believes KIIFB is still the panacea for all the ailments of the state.

He has listed out projects worth Rs 30,000 crore to be undertaken by KIIFB without specifically listing out the resources for it. The minister himself admits that this year a Rs 10,000-crore bill will be on his table from the contractors engaged in KIIFB projects.

The economic review tabled on Wednesday rightly pointed out the rate of growth of revenue income has reduced by nearly 50 per cent, compared to 2015-16. But, FM is circumventing the public finance coffers to gather funds for KIIFB.

He should keep in mind that if the Centre and the RBI insist that huge government guarantees (as in the case of KIIFB) will be considered the physical burden of the state finance, the fiscal deficit will shoot up and may touch the dangerous 7 per cent mark of the GDP, thereby inviting a fiscal disaster for the state.

(The writer is a former member of the Planning Board)

Stay up to date on all the latest Kerala news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp