A significant portion of the revised Kerala budget focuses on health and medical capacity building.
A ₹ 20,000 crore Covid package, liquid medical oxygen plant of 150 metric tonnes capacity, ₹ 1,000 crore towards Covid vaccines and no new taxes were some of the big announcements in the revised budget presented by Kerala Finance Minister KN Balagopal today.
The Minister began his speech by saluting the people of Kerala for the Pinarayi Vijayan-led LDF’s “historic win” – bucking a four-decade trend by winning consecutive terms – and also took a political dig at the rival parties.
“We did not allow the culture of legislators being bought, made to stay in tourist place, to enter Kerala… The government was re-elected not by silencing the Opposition and media,” KN Balagopal said, in an apparent reference to “resort politics”, where MLAs are packed off and housed together to stave off alleged poaching by the rivals.
Opposition Leader VD Satheesan, welcoming the COVID-19 package of ₹ 20,000 crore, said, “With the political comments included in the policy statement as well as budget speech, this has been turned into a political stunt.”
“Budget is the estimate for the coming year. There is already a budget and this is a revised budget. There is a column of additional expenses. That additional expenses is only for ₹ 1,715 crore. Where is the 20,000 crores,” Mr Satheesan added.