A day after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the Union Budget 2018; the Kerala budget 2018 has been announced by state’s FM Thomas Isaac. There are several important announcements and allocations made for the southern state including an increased tax on liquor and the development of robots to clean sewers and manholes.
INR 2,000 Crores have been allotted for the development of coastal areas while INR 10 Crores have been marked for the transgenders’ welfare in the state. Mentioned below are some updates of the Kerala Budget 2018:
• In the aftermath of Cyclone Ockhi, INR 2,000 Crores have been allocated for coastal areas development including INR 584 Crores for port development, INR 150 Crores for rehabilitating the affected families and INR 100 Crores for the satellite network.
• Focusing on social security, the state budget will have INR 954 Crores for food subsidy and INR 1,685 Crores for public health. The announcements were also made regarding uber-model ambulance service, cardiology department, oncology department, trauma centers, etc.
• Under the project life, INR 2500 Crores have been allocated for providing housing scheme for homeless people while hunger-free project has been given the outlay of INR 20 Crores. There is also a separate fund for food subsidy worth INR 9,500 Crores.
• In order to support incubators, INR 80 Crores have been allocated for Kerala Startup Mission. Besides, a consortium of cooperative banks will be formed for resolving non-payment of pensions at Kerala State Road Transport Corporation. Further, the tax on rickshaws and e-rickshaws has been reduced.
• For India-made Foreign Liquor costing above INR 400, taxes have been increased by 200%. Other rates that have been increased include the fair price of land by 10% and service charge by 5%.
• In order to empower the SC/ST community, INR 2859 Crores have been allocated for several programmes. Further, allocations have been made for the industry including INR 10 Crores for Bamboo, INR 54 Crores for Cashew, INR 19 Crores for Khadi, and INR 150 Crores for coir.
• Several programs have been planned for women welfare for which the government has announced INR 1267 Crores of allocation. This includes a temporary housing scheme for working women named ‘She-lodge’, INR 50 Crores for preventing attacks on women, and INR 2,000 hike for ASHA workers.