:Development and the Economy

A Roundtable on the Kerala Economy
organised by the CPPR Centre for Comparative Studies, in collaboration with the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET)

Date: 22-23 March, 2019

Venue: Hotel Riviera Suites, Kochi (Kerala, India)


Roundtable Sessions

  1. The deteriorating fiscal health of Kerala: How the state can achieve fiscal discipline?
  2. Why Kerala is way behind in employment generation?
  3. How to address second-generation issues in health and education sector in Kerala?
  4. State Public Sector Units (PSUs): Role and Significance in the 21st century

Concept Note

Quiet often parallels are drawn between Kerala and the Nordic countries in terms of achievements in human development. While it is true that Kerala has high literacy rates and health outcomes compared to other states in India, the state also has a very high rate of unemployment and growing debt trajectory. The state of Kerala has highly depended on remittances from its citizens who work beyond its borders. Initiatives to redefine the state as business-friendly are more often met with strikes and hartals. Kerala is still one of the least preferred destinations for private investors. The fiscal health of the state is also deteriorating with the rising fiscal deficit and debt.

The deluge of 2018 which destroyed human lives, livelihood and property aggravated this situation. The floods brought in an added pressure to the government which is already passing through a phase of the fiscal crisis. For instance, in 2016-17 fiscal and revenue deficit as a share of GSDP stands at 4.28 percent and 2.51 percent respectively. The total debt of the state stands at Rs 1, 86,453.86 crores. The state also lags behind in employment generation and registers the highest unemployment rate in the country. The unemployment rate in Kerala is 12.5 percent against the national average of 5 percent.