Pinarayi Vijayan flays Union Budget
Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan Friday slammed the Union budget, saying the Centre did not heed the State's plea for raising the borrowing limit to help it overcome the devastation caused by the floods last year.
In a statement here, Pinarayi Vijayan said the budget, presented by Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, had also failed to keep its various promises, including setting up of an All India Institute of Medical Sciences, made to the state.
It was unfortunate that the budget did not show any "sympathetic attitude" towards the southern state, which had been devastated during the August floods last year. He claimed that the budget recommendations would only overburden the state.
Pinarayi Vijayan said the hike in cess on petrol and diesel prices by Rs one per litre would severely impact a state like Kerala which imports everything from "salt to camphor".
The allocations to Cochin Shipyard, Cochin Port Trust and Rubber board had been drastically reduced from the previous budget, he said. Though Kerala was known for its waterways, there was no mention of the state's inland waterways and its modernisation in the Jaljeevan mission announced in the budget.
Budget was disheartening: Thomas Isaac
State Finance minister Thomas Isaac said the budget was "disheartening." Kerala had sought increase in borrowing limit in the backdrop of the floods, but its plea was not heeded by the centre, he said. The state's allocation from the central fund had been scaled down by Rs 6,000 crore, he noted.
"If the centre does not help the state with additional resources, it will not be able to go ahead with its various projects," he added.
Kerala completely neglected: Ramesh Chennithala
Congress-led UDF Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said the hike in petrol and diesel prices will have a cascading effect leading to skyrocketing prices of essential commodities.
Kerala had been completely neglected in the budget, he said, adding the state had also not been given its deserving share of taxes. The state, which had witnessed the worst deluge in hundred years in August last year, had not been allocated any funds to overcome the losses in various sectors, Chennithala said.