Kerala Finance Minister TM Thomas Isaac on Friday presented the sixth Budget of the Pinarayi Vijayan-led LDF government in the Assembly, which focuses on education, jobs and technology.
Isaac commenced his Budget speech with quotes from a poem written by Sneha, a Class 7 student of Kuzhalmandam government school in Palakkad.
A substantial sum of money has been allocated for welfare schemes, technology, innovations, education and agriculture. The Budget also proposes schemes to generate employment and help start-ups.
The Left Democratic Front (LDF) government proposed a raise in social welfare pension to people below the poverty line to Rs 1,600 per month, an increase of Rs 100 from last December, which was increased just before the local body elections. Around 60 lakh people benefit from this scheme.
The government said it expected to generate 20,000 jobs for the youth through start-up projects.
A state government-led Venture start-up scheme was also announced for which Rs 100 crore has been earmarked.
Other highlights of the Budget included creation of eight lakh employment opportunities; creation of at least 4,000 new posts in the Health Department; Minimum Support Price of Rs 170 per kg for rubber, and Rs 32 and Rs 28 per kg for coconut and paddy respectively.
The Minister announced that ‘work near home’ project will be allocated Rs 20 crore, BPL families provided laptops at 25 per cent subsidy, and three industrial corridors allocated Rs 50,000 crore.
Issac said that a special park for manufacturing drugs for cancer will also be opened and its foundation stone laid this year.
He also announced post-doctoral fellowships of Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh for 500 scholars.