Announcing a Rs 20,000 crore package to tide over the crisis induced by the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, Kerala Finance Minister KN Balagopal presented the maiden budget of the second Pinarayi Vijayan government on Friday.
Here are some highlights of the budget:
- Besides the financial package, Balagopal set aside Rs 1,000 crore to provide free vaccination for everyone above 18 years of age.
- An additional Rs 500 crore would be spent to ensure related equipment and facilities for free vaccination.
- The previous government had allotted Rs 20,000 crore which had been fully utillised to face the pandemic.
- Stating that the thrust of the new budget would be to ensure health and food for all, Balagopal said the effort would be made to reduce the impact of the pandemic and ensure there was no third wave of the virus infection in the state.
- The budget also announced a revival package for the coastal regions which had suffered widespread destruction recently due to sea incursion and incessant rains.
- Balagopal presented a ‘revised budget’ and vote on account with certain necessary changes and additions to the full budget presented by former Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac for the 2021-22 fiscal on January 15.