Budget: Kerala pins hope on AIIMS, SilverLine and Vande Bharat trains

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Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala expects major announcements and relief packages when Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presents the Union Budget 2023/24 on Wednesday.

The state expects an announcement of sanctioning the much-touted SilverLine project and the long-pending demand to set up an All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Kozhikode. Further, the state also expects to see the introduction of Vande Bharat trains in Kerala.

During the pre-budget discussion, Kerala requested the union government to announce a rehabilitation package for expatriates who returned to the country during the Covid-19 pandemic. The state is hoping to receive a package in this regard.

Further, Kerala Finance Minister K N Balagopal also demanded an increase in state share in the GST revenue from the 50:50 ratio to a 60:40 ratio to overcome the current financial crisis.

To boost the industrial sector in the state, the government has also demanded modern production units for manufacturing electric-scooter batteries and vaccine components.

The demands raised by the state include setting up International Research Institute of Ayurveda (IRIA) in Kannur, a package for the employment guarantee scheme, projects for cashew, agriculture, handloom, traditional industries and incorporating Malabar Cancer Centre under Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi.

Meanwhile, the state also hopes that the union government grants 'point of call' status to Kannur Airport. With this, a foreign airline can operate from an airport once it is designated as a point of call.

Kerala also hopes the union government revise its decision to include loans taken by KIIFB in the state’s overall borrowing limit.

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