Kerala Budget 2020: A balanced one with focus on development | Dr Azad Moopen
Finance Minister of Kerala Dr Thomas Issac has done a commendable job in presenting a balanced budget with focus on development, in spite of the very difficult economic realities facing the state. There have been good allocation for infrastructure with focus on Kochi. The welfare state in India has also allocated sufficient funds for the benefits of the marginalized.
The focus of the government on NRKs is shown in the large allocation of Rs 90 crore for NORKA and other NRK related areas. There is allocation of Rs 13 crore for Loka Kerala Sabha, which is a grand success in its previous 2 editions, allowing opportunities for the NRKs to have a platform to air their views and get it addressed effectively. The allocation of funds for awareness among NRKs, support for NRK associations are showing the concern of government for NRKs. It is a very good move to have more focus on job opportunities and skills development.
Another area where the Budget has given significant focus is healthcare. Various ongoing schemes have been well funded with allocation of Rs 9651 crore. There is a Rs 700 crore allocation for Karunya Scheme which will help large number of low income group patients. The focus on palliative care and support for chemotherapy are highly needed. The treatment of differently abled have been allowed Rs 40 crore. On the whole, the budget has made sure that Kerala will be at the fore front of healthy states in India in future too.
It is worth taking note that Kerala economy at 7.5% GDP is growing very well compared to the country average of 5%. It is heartening to note that the government has recognized the major contribution for this by the NRKs and taken care of their requirements in the budget.
(The writer is the Founder Chairman & Managing Director of Aster DM Healthcare)