Kerala government has expressed hope to include SilverLine project and GST compensation for five more years in the centre’s budget which will be presented by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday. The state has submitted proposals for 22 items which also consist of the projects rejected by the Centre in the last budget.
Kerala has requested permission and financial aid to launch the semi-high-speed railway project of K-Rail. The state has also raised the demand to exclude the borrowings including external debts of the upcoming two or three years from the debt ceiling of the state. Kerala has put forward the request mainly in view of K-Rail project.
The government intends to borrow Rs 33,000 crore for the SilverLine project. Though the state had proposed the same project in the last budget, it had been rejected by the Centre. The Centre’s decision over SilverLine is crucial as strong protests persist in Kerala against the project.
If there is a drop in revenue from GST, the compensation provided by the Centre to the state is about to cease in June. Hence, the states including Kerala have been requesting to extend the compensation for five more years.
Other demands raised by Kerala
- A loss of Rs 6,400 was marked when the 15th Finance Commission cut short the revenue share. Hence, the state has requested financial aid to compensate for the loss.
- Reduce or scrap the cess and surcharge imposed over petrol and diesel.
- Grant more funds from the programmes of the Central government. By considering the emergency situation, the Centre should meet the complete expenditures of the National Health Mission. At present, 40 per cent of expenses are borne by the states.
- Special packages to fight Covid crisis.
- Special packages for the expatriates returned to the state.
- The Finance Commission had granted Rs 1100 for waste management, rejuvenation of rivers, planting coconut trees and afforestation. The state should ensure that the funds are distributed on time.
- Relaxation in income tax for cooperatives.
- Increase total working days and wages of employment guarantee programme.
- Aid for research and production of vaccines and medical equipment.
- Additional finance from Atmanirbhar Bharat to turn Kerala into a production centre of space technology.
- Fix Minimum Support Price for rubber.
- Establish All India Medical Institute in Kerala.
- Set up Ayurveda research centre in Kannur.
- Include Malabar Cancer Centre under the ambit of Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi.