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An analysis of the Kerala Budget-2016

TNM Staff| Friday, July 8, 2016

Here is an analysis of the Kerala Budget-2016 presented by Dr. Thomas Isaac on Friday in the state Legislative Assembly. Speaking to The News Minute,

Dr D Dhanuraj –Chairman of Centre for Public Policy Research, a think-tank based in Kochi- believes that the LDF is trying to emulate the Centre in quite a few aspects of its budget proposals.

“When you scrutinize the budget in detail, you realize that Dr. Isaac is trying to emulate Union policies. Health insurance, infrastructure bonds etc were introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It’s actually a good trend when the state follows the Centre.

It is undoubtedly a populist budget meant to impress the masses. The budget however does not delineate how revenue is to be generated to ensure all these proposals are actually implemented on ground. In that sense, I don’t find any major difference between the last budget presented by Oommen Chandy and this one.

There is a slight difference in capital investment though. From the Rs 20,000 crores that is taken on loan, Rs 13000 crores is to be deducted as pension and salary.  Compared to the last few budgets, only a few figures seem to have changed here and there. No major difference is to be seen.

The schemes that have been announced are indeed good. An average Malayali will always welcome it.  But whether it would be actually implemented or just remain empty promises on paper, only time will tell.

There are around 38 lakhs of school-going students in Kerala and a 1000-crore project was announced for them. The international standard school project is meant for government schools. Our problem is not lack of money, but poor management of government schools.

And then, how do you choose only one from the numerous government schools in each district? They should rather have used the money in scholarships for meritorious students.

Then there is talk about infrastructure development in the form of indoor stadiums and the like….how practical would it be, remains to be seen. Revenue generation will pose a huge problem in this case.

It’s a daring decision by the government to not have any sort of recruitment or vacancy for the next two years….a bold step indeed.

Certain tax schemes for vehicles older than 15 years have been proposed. In such a scenario, public transport will be severely affected.

The budget also referred to the white paper that was released earlier by the LDF government and which clearly mentions that the state is reeling under debt. But the budget do not specify how expenditure is expected to be cut short, maybe indirectly hinting at implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) to raise money.”

(As told to Haritha John)

This article was first published in The NEWS Minute ‘Populist, also emulates Modi’s budget’: An analysis of the Kerala Budget