Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government, which announced a Rs 20,000 crore financial package to alleviate the likely slump in economy over widespread shutdowns and mobility curbs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, will start disbursing welfare pension for two months from next week itself.
The remaining three months of pension will be given by the time of Vishu festival.
The government will borrow Rs 1,500 crore from cooperative banks to set in motion the efforts to bolster the state economy.
Of the Rs 25,000 crore that the government can borrow for the next financial year, Rs 12,500 crore will be borrowed in lumpsum in April. This money will be used to implement the financial package.
Considering the gravity of the crisis brought about by the now-raging viral disease, the government is departing from the usual practice of taking Rs 500 crore to Rs 1,500 crore per month to meet the daily expenses.
Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac has written to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Seetharaman, seeking permission for this.
As of now the novel coronavirus disease called COVID-19 has struck over 2 lakh people around the world and resulted in over 10,000 deaths. Kerala has so far reported 40 total confirmed COVID-19 cases including the 12 that came to light on Friday alone. Of the 12 new cases, six are from Kasaragod district, five from Ernakulam and one from Palakkad.