Kerala Finance Minister also promises affordable internet connections to every household in the state.

Right to internet Kerala budget announces free connection to 20 lakh householdsImage Courtesy: Dr TM Thomas Isaac/ Facebook
news Kerala Budget Friday, March 03, 2017 - 16:01

"Internet should be made the basic right of every citizen," announced Kerala's Finance Minister Thomas Isaac as he presented the state budget on Friday.

In a landmark move, the state government has decided to provide free internet to as many as 20 lakh economically backward households, a first for the state. 

Over and above this, the government will also provide affordable internet connections to every household in the state. The aim is to increase internet connectivity in the state and make the facility accessible to all, the Finance Minister said. 

"Internet will now become a right for the people and within 18 months the internet gateway would be set up through the K phone network at a cost of Rs 1,000 crore," Thomas Isaac announced. 

Internet will be provided to every households in the state through a fiber optic network called K phone.

"The K phone network will be on the lines of the KSEB network, and internet connection will reach every home in the state through a fiber optic network," he said. 

Thomas Isaac also said that free wi-fi connections will be made available at all Akshaya Centres, a project as part of the state’s IT mission. The state FM added that all the government services will be made digital. 

In December, a tribal colony at Nilambur in Malappuram district was declared the first digital tribal colony in the country. This was after the district administration gave training in cashless transactions to nearly 100 households in the colony. 

Kerala settlement is India’s ‘first cashless tribal colony’, but lacks even toilets and piped water

Budget Highlights

Rs 25,000 crore for infrastructure development.

Rs. 5,628 crore for development 182 roads

Rs 6,500 crore for coastal highway, Rs 35,00 crore for hill highway

Rs 1696 crore for drinking water projects

Rs 1,000 crore for the infrastructure development and quality improvement of public education institutions

Rs 2,500 crore for public health sector

Complete prevention for lifestyle diseases and free treatment 

45,000 High Tech class rooms for public education institutions 

Rs 9,748 crore for local bodies

Rs 1,621 crore for child welfare

Rs 10 crore for technology innovation

Rs 68 cr for plans to prevent atrocities against women

Special department for women’s safety will be set up in 2017-18. New posts will be created for this. All the welfare schemes for women will also come under it.  

Gender audit will be presented along with next budget

Rs 162 crore for Kudumbashree

Revenue income: 93,584 crore

Revenue expenditure: 1,09,627 crore

Total estimated revenue Rs 1,19,124 crore

Total estimated expenditure: 1,19,601 crore

Also read: Kerala budget makes infra priority, opposition walks out over ‘leak’

(All photographs by Sreekesh Raveendran Nair)

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