None among Kerala's 17 demands sanctioned, but Nirmala grants unsought aid

Article image Haritha - 3
Image: Onmanorama

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government had put forward to the Centre a list of 17 demands before this time's Union Budget. However, like last time none of the demands were included in the Union Budget by Nirmala Sitharaman.

But an unasked for help was extended to States, including Kerala: interest-free loans which could be repaid in 50 years. The declaration in the last Budget that Rs 1 lakh crore would be given as loans to the States was repeated by the Minister this time too.

The Finance Ministry estimates that Kerala would get Rs. 1,500 crore under this programme next year. However, the state suspects that there is a hidden trap in the loan. The Centre's permission is required only when borrowing from the open market every year only if Kerala owes money to the Centre.

According to assessments, the State might be able to pay back by 2032 or 2033, the amounts owed to the Centre. After this, it would not be necessary to obtain the Centre’s approval to borrow money. When this happens, the long-pending demand of Kerala for permission to borrow independently will take effect. If Kerala takes the loan announced by the Centre in the budget, it will become a debtor again. But, considering the pitiable financial condition of the State at present, there is no doubt that Kerala will accept the loan.

The most important among the 17 demands raised by Kerala was a sanction to the SilverLine project. But, there was no mention of the project in the Budget. In the context of the project courting a controversy, the State government can save its skin by making the alibi that the scheme cannot be implemented as the Centre had not given the approval. The Union Budget not mentioning demands such as raising the borrowing limit by at least 0.5%, increasing the GST compensation, and devolution of 60% of the GST collections to the States, is considered by the State government as a massive setback.


Borrowings are the chief source of revenue in the budget which will be presented by the State government on Friday. Had the Union Budget increased the borrowing limit of States, the funds available through that too could have been included in the total revenue of the State. That could have helped to expand the projects envisaged in the budget. The reduction in the allocation to the employment guarantee scheme this time around, has affected Kerala which is ranked as a State performing excellently in the sector.

In order to provide the same quantum of employment this year as given last year, Rs. 2.75 lakh crore would be required. Kerala is of the opinion that allocating only Rs. 60,000 crore would lead to massive loss of employment.

Kerala’s tax share: Rs. 19,663 crore

Kerala will receive Rs. 19,662.88 crore as its share of taxes from the Centre in the next financial year. This is 1.925% of the total tax collection. Kerala’s share in the last Budget was Rs. 15,720.50 crore. Uttar Pradesh has been allocated the largest amount – Rs. 1.83 lakh crore, forming 18% of the total amount of taxes. Kerala will also receive Rs. 6,293.42 crore as corporation tax, Rs. 6,122.04 crore as income tax, Rs. 6,358.05 crore from the Centre as the GST share, Rs. 623.74 crore as Customs duty, and Rs. 261.24 as the share of the Central excise duty.

Allocations for Kerala’s existing establishments

Rubber Board, Kottayam: Rs. 268.76 crore.
Spices Board, Kochi: Rs 115.50 crore.
HLL Lifecare, Thiruvananthapuram: Rs. 17.85 crore.
Cochin Port Trust: Rs. 14.74 crore.

Cochin Shipyard: Rs. 300 crore
Indian Institute of Science and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram: Rs. 122 crore
Marine Products Exports Development Authority, Kochi: Rs. 100 crore
National Centre for Earth Sciences and Studies, Thiruvananthapuram: Rs. 16 crore.
Institutions including Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Biotechnology, Thiruvananthapuram: Rs. 902.47 crore.
C-DAC, Thiruvananthapuram: Rs. 270 crore
Rs. 80 crore for Shipping Corporation for implementing goods and passenger shipping services on the Minicoy-Thoothukudi-Maldives sea route.

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.