With an eye on the Lok Sabha polls, Kerala's Left Front government today unveiled a deficit budget with no new taxes, and a slew of welfare measures including a Rs 10,000 crore special package to tide over the slowdown in the economy due to the global recession.
Finance Minister T M Thomas Issac did not impose new taxes and came out with sops like waiver of loans up to Rs 25,000 taken from government institutions by Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and converted Christians.
The budget aims to mobilise an additional Rs 574.29 crore by tapping non-tax revenue. It shows deficit of Rs 934 crore and estimates total revenue at Rs 28,153.90 crore, expenditure at Rs 31,161.85 crore and a revenue deficit of Rs 3,007.95 crore.
A Rs 10,000 crore anti-slowdown package in the budget is a step towards increasing capital investment. The most important component of this would be schemes worth Rs 5,000 crore for implementing drinking water and irrigation projects.
An amount of Rs 250 crore has been earmarked as food subsidy with the objective of ensuring supply of essential commodities at reasonable prices for all. Rice would be supplied at Rs two a kg to families below the poverty line.