The budget which focuses on education, jobs and technology, was presented in a record speech of Minister Isaac, lasting three hours and 18 minutes.

Hands of a person counting 100 rupee notes
news Budget Friday, January 15, 2021 - 14:05

In the sixth budget of Kerala’s Left Democratic Front (LDF) government, presented by Finance Minister Thomas Isaac, a substantial sum of money has been allocated for welfare schemes, technology, innovations, education and agriculture. The government has 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 budget which focuses on education, jobs and technology, was presented in a record speech of Minister Isaac, lasting three hours and 18 minutes (beating the earlier record held by former Finance Minister KM Mani of the UDF government). Thomas Isaac began the speech with quotes from a poem written by Sneha, a Class 7 student of Kuzhalmandam government school in Palakkad.

Apart from the welfare schemes, the budget also proposes schemes to generate employment and help start-ups.

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.

Minister Thomas Isaac announced that a 'work near home' project will be allocated Rs 20 crore, BPL (Below Poverty Line) families will be provided laptops at 25% subsidy, and three industrial corridors will be allocated Rs 50,000 crore.

He also said that a special park for manufacturing drugs for cancer will also be opened and its foundation stone be laid this year.

The minister also announced post-doctoral fellowships of Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh for 500 scholars.

(With PTI input)