Kerala finance minister Thomas Isaac on Thursday rued the continuing financial crisis in the state, with him penning this year’s financial deficit at around Rs 14,000 crores.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of ‘Publishing Next’ -the annual conference of professionals from the publishing industry that he inaugurated- at Bolgatty Palace in Kochi, Isaac was however hopeful that the state would overcome its financial woes in three years’ time.
In an article in the Livemint, Nidheesh MK writes that the state’s tax collection has nosedived in recent years.
The report says “after steadily increasing between 2008-09 and 2012-13 (in 2012-13, almost 51% of the state’s total revenue was from commercial taxes), it has been on a declining curve, so much so that the 17.75% growth in this head in 2006-11 period has dropped to 14.26% in 2011-16.”
The state’s non-plan expenditure has risen over the years. The state treasury’s closing balance too was at its lowest in 2015 at Rs.142.65 crore.
The minister expressed his optimism of being able to garner resources for the state’s development from Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIF-B), a financial institution set up for that very purpose.
The LDF government hopes to be able to reach a set target of Rs 20,000 crores in KIIF-B and the investment by National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) is an initial step in that direction, Isaac said.
KIIF-B would help tide over the acute financial crunch the state found itself in the nest three years, he added.