Thiruvanathapuram: Finance Minister Thomas Issac presented the LDF government’s state budget in the Kerala Assembly on Thursday.
Presenting the budget, the minister said that demonetisation was an 'Ockhi' (cyclone) on the economy. "End consumers are not getting the actual benefits of GST as corporates are making the most out of this," he said.
Kerala Budget 2018 comes at a time when the state is reeling under a severe financial crisis.
Fulfilling the promise of a women-friendly budget, Issac announced Rs 1267 crore for women-safety projects in the state. He also announced special emolument for single mothers.
He said that lawyers, judiciary and police were all stakeholders in ensuring women’s welfare, safety and should work together for initiatives such as crime mapping.
The state government allocated Rs 1685 crore for public health services. The govt proposed the introduction of Uber-type ambulance services across the state.
The goverment allocated Rs 80 crore towards welfare of NRIs and Rs 16 crore for those stuck in difficult or perilous situations in foreign countries.
The finance minister also announced a Rs 2000-crore package for coastal area development as a relief from the destruction caused by Cyclone Ockhi.
The government increased tax on alcohol in the state. The tax on Indian-Made Foreign Liquor costing over Rs 400 has been increased 200 per cent in the budget. The state currently receives an annual revenue of Rs 12,000 crore from liquor sales.