Kerala Budget: FM  promises 8 lakh jobs

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Finance Minister TM Thomas Isaac on Friday presented the state's Budget of the Pinarayi Vijayan-led LDF government in the Assembly, promising to generate eight lakh employment opportunities in the state.

Addressing the Assembly, Issac said that it was a "people-centric and welfare-oriented Budget" and that schemes proposed in it would help support the underprivileged and downtrodden people amid the coronavirus pandemic. He said that the Kerala government had tried to address the growing unemployment crisis and would support 2,500 start-up initiatives to ensure employment to 20,000 youths.

The state also proposed to raised Minimum Support Price (MSP) of rubber from Rs 150 to Rs 170 per kg to boost rubber industry. The MSP of coconut is proposed to be Rs 32 per kg and of paddy Rs 28 per kg.

Other highlights of the Budget include continuation of free distribution of food kits to all ration card holders; 10 kg rice at Rs 15 per kg to blue and white ration card holders; and eight lakh job opportunities -- five lakh earmarked for educated unemployed persons and three lakh for unemployed in all categories.

Marathon speech

TM Thomas Isaac on Friday created history by deliver­ing a marathon speech spanning 3 hours and 17 minutes, presenting the state Budget in the Assembly. The earlier record for the longest Budget speech of 2 hours and 54 minutes was in the name of late Kerala Congress leader and then FM KM Mani.

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