Kerala budget: FM hikes minimum support price for rubber, paddy

Dr Thomas Isaac presents his budget in Kerala assembly. — ANI
Dr Thomas Isaac presents his budget in Kerala assembly. — ANI

Thiruvananthapuram - Thomas Isaac criticises central government over farm laws, announces welfare projects


Published: Fri 15 Jan 2021, 11:10 AM

Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac began the presentation of the budget by criticising the central government over farm laws, stating that the Centre is pursuing “neo-liberal policies and is helping corporates in the name of reforms”.

Presenting the final budget of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) ahead of the upcoming assembly polls, Isaac hiked Minimum Support Price (MSP) for rubber to Rs170, paddy to Rs28 and coconut to Rs31, which is other than the MSP declared earlier for 16 crops that include vegetables and fruits.

The minister started his speech with a poem written by Class 7 student — Sneha from Palakkad on combating Covid-19 situation.

Starting with welfare schemes, Isaac announced a surge in the welfare pension to Rs1,600 and promised 800,000 new jobs. He also promised 2 million jobs creation in digital platforms within five years.

Despite the ongoing troubles with the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) related to the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board, the minister announced additional projects worth Rs15,000 crores (Rs150 billions) to be launched by the board.

Giving a big push to the information technology and education sector during the ongoing pandemic, he further announced Rs150 crore (Rs1,500 million) for digitalising classrooms in affiliated colleges.

Asserting that all families in Kerala should have laptops, he said: “Marginalised sections will get laptops for half price. About 25 per cent subsidy for buying laptops under the below poverty line (BPL) category.”

Isaac also said that K-FON will provide internet access to all houses, and the project will be completed by July and allotted Rs40 crore (Rs400 million) for Kerala Innovation Challenge and another Rs50 (Rs500 million) crore for start-up projects.

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