Financial risks in Budget proposals is worth taking: Thomas Isaac

Kerala Finance Minister T. M. Thomas IsaacThiruvananthapuram: Kerala Finance Minister T. M. Thomas Isaac told the Assembly on Thursday that the State government would have to take certain financial risks for infrastructure development.

Replying to the debate on the demands for grants on account, the Minister said that the State had highly educated youth on account of the developmental model followed by it. They have to be found new jobs in sectors such as Information technology, biotechnology, light engineering and tourism.

He said that the government was targeting creation of 25 lakh jobs through its investment plans. The bonds to be floated by the government would have an assured market. Repayment of the principle would be guaranteed by law. There would also a revenue stream for payment of interest.  “The financial risks involved in these are worth taking,” he added.

Dr. Isaac said that the pre-fabricated material would be used for housing schemes to be taken up by the government. Housing bonds could be floated for funding housing. The money available with cooperatives could be tapped that way.

He announced that the Rs. 16 crores would be released for payment of rebate for khadi. Government would purchase khadi for hospitals and school uniforms. Industries Department would work out a scheme for pandanus leaf workers.

Ration shops would be modernised and allowed to sell other products to make them viable. Loans for this could be provided by the State Financial Enterprises. The government would pay the interest.

He admitted that some proposals in his past budgets had not succeed. “Such things happen.”

After the Minister’s reply, the House passed the vote on account for 90 votes against 44.

Earlier, participating in the debate, former Health Minister V. S. Sivakumar said that the government was planning to undermine free health care programmes implemented by the previous government by bringing them under an insurance scheme.

Mr. Sivakumar recalled that proposals made by Dr. Issac in the past such as Islamic bank and mining of sand from reservoirs did not work out.