Isaac flayed the budget saying it failed to take precautionary measures against the backdrop of predictions of a global economic slowdown.

No major allocation for state Kerala Finance Min terms Union Budget disappointing
news Budget 2019 Saturday, July 06, 2019 - 07:38

Terming the Union Budget as disappointing, Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Issac said that it failed to stimulate economic growth and did not have any major allocation or project for the state.

Though he expressed disappointment at the demands of the state not being approved, he declined to say that the reason behind it was political.

"The state will write to the Centre to exclude the foreign loans for post-flood reconstruction from the borrowing limit," he said.

The state will also request for out-of-the-budget assistance for some development programmes.   

Isaac said, "The state has already achieved electrification in all houses and hence won't benefit from such schemes announced in the budget.”

He added that the budget did not pay attention to the state's demand for raising the annual borrowing limit. The annual borrowing limit was cut by Rs 6,000 crore from the previous fiscal. 

"The six per cent increase in tax devolution will not help the state considering the four per cent rise in inflation," he said.

The allocations for central institutions in the state like the Rubber Board did not see any substantial increase. The Budget's total allocation for agriculture sector has come down if the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi is not included.  

The hike in additional excise duty on petrol and diesel will make life difficult. The additional excise duty is not shared with state governments. 

Isaac added, "The budget failed to foresee and take precautionary measures in the backdrop of predictions on a global economic slowdown. Sanctions for several projects like the NHM and the SSA are more or less same as that of the previous fiscal. The Rs 6000 crore earmarked for the Ayushman Bharat Yojana is insufficient. Allocation for the MGNREGS was Rs Rs 60,000 crore, down by Rs 1,000 crore from the previous fiscal.”

The budget gives sufficient proof for the criticism that economic growth was below 7 per cent in FY19. But the proposed remedial measure of increasing FDI will not help to tide over the slowdown.  

Isaac also disapproved of the massive disinvestment target and privatisation of the railways. Railway privatisation was a failed experiment in the UK, he added.  

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