KOZHIKODE: IT professionals, industrialists and traders in the Malabar region have given thumbs up to the state budget announced by Finance Minister Thomas Isaac on Friday which puts focus on development of drinking water, infrastructure of government schools, health and social justice sectors. However, those in construction sector were disappointed as the budget failed in bringing down stamp duty charges. Talking to Deccan Chronicle Malabar Development Council President and trader C.E. Chakunni said, "It is after a long time people of Malabar have something to cheer for in the state budget".
One of the major highlights is the special mention of Kannur- Kozhikode International airport. The budget announced plans to move forward with the procedures of land acquisition for the two airports. In addition to this, funds have been allotted for the development of existing ports in the Malabar region including, Beypore, Azhikode and Ponnani. An amount of Rs 3,500 crore each for the development of hill and coastal highways is also an attraction. Malabar Chamber of Commerce Secretary, M Nithyanand Kamath meanwhile expressed concern over failure to mention specific amounts for acquiring land for Kannur and Kozhikode airports.
"But on the whole the budget is very much oriented on infrastructure development and economic growth," he added. Talking about the 55 crore allotted for the Government Cyber Parks in Malabar region, IT expert Akhil K Joseph said, "This amount can be rightly tapped to bring more development for the Government Cyber Park". There is a strong opportunity for IT and Information Technology Enabled Service (ITES) companies to tap into the huge potential of untapped human resources. Many ITES majors are looking at Malabar as a potential destination because of its high rate of literacy, the high quality of living and the closeness to major IT destinations like Bangalore, Mysore and Mangalore, he added.
Eight schools in Kozhikode district alone will be upgraded as centers of excellence. The master plan for the proposal is under preparation. Koyilandy GVHSS, Meenchantha GVHSS, Ferok GVHSS, Meppayur GHSS, Naduvannur GHSS, Kozhikode Medical College campus Government HSS and Chathamangalam REC GHSS are among the schools in this list. In addition to this, four schools have been selected in the first phase for the betterment of infrastructure facilities project....