Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Friday said the COVID-19 pandemic has posed a great challenge to the development prospects of the state as it is likely to witness high revenue and fiscal deficits.
Providing free COVID-19 vaccine to all is the policy of the state government and an additional Rs 1,000 crore expenditure is expected for this, he said while presenting the policy address of the second Pinarayi Vijayan government in the state Assembly here.
Despite fiscal constraints, the government has stepped forward to meet the challenges posed by the pandemic and has floated global tenders and placed orders with domestic vaccine manufacturers.
Even though there are over 22 lakh confirmed COVID cases, the state could keep the mortality to around 8,000, he said.
"Unprecedented COVID pandemic had thrown a big challenge. The resurgence of COVID has resulted in falling revenues. This might constrain us to push the panic button," Khan said.
Detailing the welfare programmes implemented during the time of the pandemic, he said the state government, in the current second wave, has announced Rs 1,000 crore as ex-gratia payments to all BPL families who do not have welfare pensions.
The Governor also hailed the positive response of people towards the vaccine challenge proposed by the government....