Thiruvananthapuram: Political leaders from the LDF and UDF slammed proposals in the Union budget. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said all demands of the state including AIIMS were ignored. The state will be most hit by the Rs 2 hike in fuel prices.
The state which purchases everything from salt to karpooram will face increased burden with the price hike in fuels, said Mr Vijayan.
Kerala is known for its waterways. However, there is no mention of renovating inland waterways in the Jala Jeevan Mission announced in the Centre, Mr Vijayan said. The funds allotted to Cochin Shipyard, Cochin Port Trust and Rubber Board is cut from the last budget, said Mr Vijayan.
Finance minister T.M. Thomas Isaac said that the budget was disappointing for the state. We wanted the Centre to hike the loan limit for the state in view of floods. This was agreed to by all states. However, the Central fund for state was reduced by Rs 6,000 crore. There was no hike in allocations of boards in the state under the Central government. No demands of the state were approved by the Centre. The state will find it difficult to earmark money for various projects if the Centre does not provide financial support. This can be done by providing funds outside the budget too. I will write to Union finance minister highlighting this, said Mr Isaac. Tax hikes on petroleum were the single largest source of additional resource mobilisation for NDA regime. During the last five years taxes on petrol increased from Rs 9.20 to Rs 17.98 and that of diesel from Rs 3.46 to Rs 13.83. True to tradition FM hiked them both by Rs 2, said Mr Isaac.
The maiden budget of the second Modi government was a bolt from the blue, said KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran.
The decision to hike fuel prices will result in exorbitant price rise in prices of essential commodities, he said in a statement here.
None of the major demands of the state were addressed, said LDF convener A. Vijayarag-havan citing lack of funds for the package suggested by the state for flood rehabilitation.
The decision to impose cess on fuels will create price hike, said CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran.
Dr P. Venkat Rangan, vice-chancellor, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham welcomed the introduction of a new education policy and the ‘Study in India’ programme to attract foreign students.
These decisions will give a major boost to the Indian education system and will catapult India into a global education hub. He said “the endeavor of the Government to focus on enhancing skills for the youth in areas such as Artificial intelligence, Big Data, Robotics is a much needed step in their careers and job prospects, said Mr Rangan....