Thiruvananthapuram, February 2: After Budget 2018 was announced on Thursday by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, today Kerala’s Finance Minister Thomas Issac announced Kerala Budget 2018 esecially catering to ‘social security’ of women, transgenders and families affected due to Ockhi.
Coastal Development and Rehabilitation: Finance Minister Thomas Issac announced Rs 2,000 Crore for coastal areas development in the aftermath of Cyclone Ockhi. The Rs 2,000 Crore fund includes Rs 584 Crore for port development, Rs 150 Crore for rehabilitation of families and Rs 100 Crore for satellite network.
Health Sector: Kerala Minister Issac announced Rs 1,685 Crore was assigned for public health. State government also announced Uber-model ambulance service across the state in government-run hospitals. Cardiology department in district hospitals, oncology department in medical colleges and trauma care centres at taluka hospitals were other initiatives in the health sector.
Housing Scheme and Food Subsidy: Rs 2,500 Crore was allocated for housing scheme for homeless people called ‘Project Life’ and Rs 20 Crore was set aside for a ‘hunger free’ project. Rs 9,500 Crore fund was announced for food subsidy.
Women Development: Further Rs 1,267 Crore has been allotted for women development while Rs 50 Crore for schemes has been allocated to prevent assaults on women. Kochi will get Rs 4 Crore for ‘She Lodge’ to allow women to stay safely.
Transgenders: Finance Minister announced Rs 10 Crore has been reserved for the welfare of transgenders and safe homes will be created in all districts for them. He said the government has already taken several measures to bring transgenders to the forefront but still more needs to be done.
Transport: Rs 80 Crore have been set aside for Kerala Startup Mission to support incubators. A group of cooperative banks will also be formed to resolve the non-payment of pensions at Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC). The KSRTC pension arrears must to be paid off by March.
Finance Minister Thomas Issac announced amnesty for owners of vehicles registered using fake addresses in Puducherry. Several actors and businessmen had been caught with falsely registered vehicles; they will now get an amnesty if they re-register vehicles in Kerala. The tax on e-rickshaws and rickshaws running on LPG/CNG has been reduced.
Liquor Tax: The tax on Indian-Made Foreign Liquor costing over Rs 400 has been increased to 200% in the Kerala budget. Fair price of land increased by 10%, whereas service charge increased by 5%.
Also the robot developed by a Kozhikode native will be used for manhole cleaning in an attempt to an end to manual scavenging.