20000 Cr COVID Package, Vaccine Research, Oxygen Plants; Kerala Budget-21 Is a Health Sector Booster

Kerala Finance Minister KN Balagopal on Friday presented the revised budget for 2021-22 in the state Assembly. The maiden budget of the second CPI(M)-led Pinarayi Vijayan Government emphasises the healthcare sector and announced special schemes aiming to support people facing poverty due to the COVID pandemic.

Here are the key highlight of Kerala Budget 2021

20,000 crore package to tide over the crisis induced by the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kerala Finance Minister K N Balagopal presented the maiden budget of the second Pinarayi Vijayan government here on Friday.

Besides the financial package, he also set aside Rs 1,000 crore to provide free vaccination for everyone aged above 18 years. An additional 500 crore would be spent to ensure related equipment and facilities for free vaccination, he said.

The previous government had allotted Rs 20,000 crore which had been fully utillised to face the pandemic, he said. “A second COVID-19 package of Rs 20,000 crore is announced now,” the finance minister said.

Stating that the thrust of the new budget would be to ensure health and food for all, he said the effort would be to reduce the impact of the pandemic and ensure there is no third wave of the virus infection in the state. “We will consider the concerns over the third wave of the pandemic. The health emergency existing is a challenge to the development prospects of the state,” he said.

The budget also announced a revival package for the coastal regions which had suffered widespread destruction recently due to sea incursion and incessant rains.

  • Rs.20,000 crores COVID-19 revival package.
  • Government Medical College Hospitals in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode to have state of the art isolation.
  • facilities to treat transmissible diseases like COVID-19, ebola.
  • Allocation of ₹50 lakh as seed money for the proposed Centre for Disease Control.
  • Oxygen plant with a capacity of 150 metric tonnes to be set up.
  • Expansive isolation wards to treat patients with transmissible diseases in all public hospitals.
  • With emphasis on paediatric care, more intensive care units to be opened in hospitals.
  • A centre of excellence on the lines of the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention will be set up in Kerala.
  • Rs 1000 crore has been set aside for providing vaccination to those above 18 years of age. Rs 500 cr for the purchase of allied equipment related to vaccination.
  • Rs. 500cr package for flood relief.
  • Steps to expedite coastal highway project.
  • Comprehensive package to prevent coastal erosion and mitigate the damage caused due to sea surge.
  • Settlement of outstanding rubber subsidy dues.
  • Rs. 10 crore allocation for eradication of extreme poverty.
  • Rs. 5 crore for setting up smart kitchens for the benefit of homemakers.
  • Rs. 100 Crores to convert the KSRTC buses to CNG model.
  • Special scheme to bolster the dairy sector.
  • Malabar Literary Circuit and Biodiversity Circuit to revive the moribund sector.
  • Proposal for five agriculture processing parks in Kerala.
  • In a move to revive the tourism sector, the Kerala State Financial Corporation would extend Rs. 400 crore as low-interest loans to help revive the industry and restore lost jobs.
  • Rs. 4 crore to set up monuments for veteran politicians and former Ministers K. R. Gowri Amma and R. Balakrishna Pillai.

Balagopal presented a ‘revised budget’ and vote on account with certain necessary changes and additions to the full budget presented by former Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac for the 2021-22 fiscal on 15 January.