With an eye on Kerala Assembly polls, Isaac packs budget with welfare punch

Kerala Budget 2021 | Isaac readies grand finale of welfare schemes ahead of assembly polls
Kerala Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac presenting the state Budget for the financial year 2021-22. Photo: PRD

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac has proposed a handful of welfare schemes in the state budget for the financial year 2021-22 in a bid to infuse new life to the state economy reeling under the ill-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Continuing with the welfare agenda being executed by the Left Democratic Front government, Isaac on Friday announced raising welfare pensions, expat-friendly programmes and more ration benefits in the budget.

As it happened
  • 5 months ago

    Isaac tables the Budget.

    Though the Budget proposed projects for the upcoming financial year, a vote on account will be passed for a four-month period since the current government's term would end post that period.

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  • 5 months ago

    Two DAs will be merged with the Provident Fund

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  • 5 months ago

    Salary arrears will be paid in three instalments

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  • 5 months ago

    Pension too will be revised, says Isaac

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  • 5 months ago

    Government will issue orders on salary revision in April based on the recommendations of the salary revision panel

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  • 5 months ago

    Salary revision of state government employees from April

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  • 5 months ago

    Speaker reminds Thomas Isaac to wind up the budget speech by 12.30pm

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  • 5 months ago

    Thomas Isaac sets new record for lengthy budget speech (3 hours 18 minutes). He eclipses K M Mani's previous record of 2 hour and 58 minutes set in 2013.

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  • 5 months ago

    No Flood Cess after July, 2021

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  • 5 months ago

    State's GST revenue has not increased as expected, says Isaac

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Key points from the budget:

• 50 lakh families to get extra 10kg rice at Rs 15 per kg

• Rs 3,000 pension for NRKs who are back home

• Eight lakh jobs to be created in 2021-22

• All welfare pensions will be hiked to Rs 1,600

• Local self-governments to get Rs 10,000 crore in 2021-22

• Rubber procurement price hiked to Rs 170

• Rs 20 crore allotted to support work-near home initiatives

• Laptops will be provided to all poor families at half price

• 'Karunya At Home' project to deliver medicines for senior citizens

The 2021 budget holds significance as the Assembly Elections are around the corner. It allows the government one last chance to highlight the government's plans, achievements and developmental activities after an eventful four-and-a-half-years in power when Kerala was struck by natural calamities, pandemic, deadly tropical diseases and civic strife in the wake of landmark judicial verdicts.

Though the budget proposed projects for the upcoming financial year, a vote on account will be passed for a four-month period since the current government's term would end post that period.

This is the sixth budget of the Pinarayi Vijayan-led government. Isaac is presenting the state budget for the 12th time.

Speaking to Manorama News, as he set out to the Assembly to present the budget, Isaac said that he won't be competing with anyone on showering largesse especially in an election year.

Referring to the Minimum Income Guarantee Scheme, promised by the Congress in its draft manifesto, the Finance Minister said, “Let the Congress leaders reveal how they would mobilise the necessary funds for the programme.”

Isaac, who tabled the Left government's Economic Review 2020 in the state assembly a day ahead of the state budget, said natural disasters including Cyclone Ockhi of 2017, two consecutive floods of 2018 and 2019 and the pandemic affected the state's economy along with the return of non-resident Keralites (NRKs) from abroad, mostly following job loss.

Apart from the adverse impact of natural calamities in the previous years, Kerala has suffered a revenue loss of Rs 1.56 lakh crore due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown in its wake, he said.

The state's growth rates, which were higher than the national rate of growth saw a downward trend in 2019-20, due to the setbacks the state economy faced during the last three years, the Review said.

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