THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Union interim Budget disappointed flood-hit Kerala as there was no major allocation of funds or projects for the state. The state had high expectations in the wake of the heavy loss incurred in the August flood, but it received a rude shock when the Budget was presented with the Centre visibly ignoring the state’s demands.
The tourism sector was hopeful of getting its due share since the state was represented by Union Tourism Minister Alphons Kannanthanam in the Cabinet, but the budget did not announce any state-specific project.
Though the Centre did allot Rs 1,106 crore for the Integrated Development of Tourist Circuits around specific themes (Swadesh Darshan) across the country, there was no mention of Kerala or the devastating flood.
Centre turning a blind eye to the long-pending demand of an All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) for the state was another disappointment while the same was granted to Haryana, which became the 22nd AIIMS.
Apart from AIIMS, the state had expected budgetary allocation for rail projects in the state, but unfortunately, none of them found a mention in this budget.
Union budget a disappointment: Pinarayi
Kerala was not given adequate preference in the Union budget despite it being an interim one with an eye on the general elections, said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
Mentioning the budget as a disappointment for the state, Pinarayi said the budget even downsized the current share of allocation that the state enjoys. The state is going to be denied its rightful share of tax money.
There has been a reduction of Rs 26,639 crore from the Centre towards the states. Apart from the dip in revenue mobilised as tax after the implementation of GST, the Centre has also cut down Rs 38,265 crore from the GST compensation fund, he said.
Pinarayi added Kerala has been deprived of a special package to tide of the flood-related disaster and to boost the reconstruction activities.
The long-lasting demand for establishing an All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in the state has been overlooked.
There has been no mention of Kanjikode coach factory and no measures were announced for protecting Central Public Sector Units.
The announcement to reduce import duty further will destroy Kerala’s agriculture economy. The National Rural Employment scheme does not have an adequate allocation to ensure 100 working days, he said. Pinarayi added the budget had no serious announcements.