THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The actual loss to the Kerala economy due to COVID-19 and lockdown may be bigger than the Kerala state planning board’s (KSPB) preliminary estimate of Rs 80,000 crore.
KSPB and Gulati Institute of Finance and Taxation, tasked with assessing the damage, are yet to submit the final reports. Finance Minister Thomas Isaac said the crucial question was how long the coronavirus will persist.
“We’ll have a clear picture only by May-end,” he told TNIE.
The state’s GST revenue in April was Rs 161 crore against Rs 1,766 crore in the corresponding period last year. Revenue from land registration came down to Rs 12 crore from Rs 255 crore and motor vehicle tax to Rs 4 crore from Rs 300 crore.
Economist and Kerala Public Expenditure Review Committee former chairman BA Prakash said "losses in the final days of lockdown would be lesser as there are relaxations and several shops are allowed to function,” he said.
Prakash said his assessment is that the state suffered loss worth Rs 70,000 crore in 40 days of lockdown.
“This assessment was based on the GSDP figures of 2018-19. Hence, there would be a 10% underestimation. The actual loss will be around Rs 77,000 crore,” he said.