FinMin Balagopal follows his party’s New Kerala perspective

Ten days ago, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan presented a 213-page document detailing CPM’s perspective on creation of a ‘New Kerala’ at the party state conference.

Published: 12th March 2022 06:33 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th March 2022 06:33 AM   |  A+A-

Finance Minister K N Balagopal.

Finance Minister K N Balagopal. (File Photo | Vincent Pulickal)

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Ten days ago, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan presented a 213-page document detailing CPM’s perspective on creation of a ‘New Kerala’ at the party state conference. On Friday, Finance Minister KN Balagopal followed CM’s cue in both letter and spirit, while presenting the budget.

Taking a leaf from the party document which endorsed private capital, including PPP model in education sector, in addition to steps to boost knowledge economy, Balagopal focussed entirely on new generation initiatives. The budget has proposals to attract private investment to augment industrial growth.  

In line with the CPM document which proposes to raise the standard of living in the state to that of developed, middle-income nations in the next 25 years, the budget has a proposal to achieve zero carbon emission by 2050, as a long-term goal.

“The development document focuses on knowledge economy, welfare and infrastructure development. These three clearly reflect in the budget. A 33 per cent increase in social welfare, additional allocation of about `7,000 crore for infrastructure through KIIFB and knowledge economy measures constitute the road map in this direction,” said senior CPM leader and former finance minister Thomas Isaac.  

Adopting a pragmatic approach, the document lays focus on modern technological initiatives, science and technology projects. The same is reflected in the budget. “The budget is a stepping stone in the creation of a New Kerala. This is a beginning, other aspects will gradually fall in place, said CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.

In addition to steps focusing on knowledge economy and higher education, the budget has initiatives on increasing production through diversification and value addition, and focuses on labour sector. “Such steps in agriculture, including diversification, marketing and value addition, reflect the party’s perspective on a ‘New Kerala’,” pointed out K N Harilal of Centre for Development Studies.

The budget is both realistic and futuristic, observed Planning board member Raviraman. “The creation of a New Kerala is an ongoing process. We have now scaled it up with different dimensions of knowledge economy. This is being applied in different sectors. Kerala is basically a knowledge society that is yet to be transformed into a knowledge economy. The concept is to facilitate this transformation through material production and value generation,” he observed.

CPM document
Curiously the CPM document is yet to be discussed in the Left front. As per the CPM, the document would be finalised only after taking suggestions from Left allies.


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