The state budget has not adversely affected the common man nor has it shaken the market in any way, Finance Minister K M Mani said on Saturday.
While the focus was on the one-per cent hike in VAT to be on par with other states, the levy on essential commodities like rice, flour, pulses etc has been brought down, he said while speaking at the Discussion on Kerala Budget 2012, organised by Kerala Chambers of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), here.
Refuting the charges made by the Opposition that the state budget was a replication of the Union Budget, Mani said that the budget is unique in its own way as it is unidirectional and completely growth-oriented. Development strategies, ensuring high standards of growth in every field, have been incorporated into the provisions of the budget, he said.
However, the state government does not have enough funds to implement every ambitious projects proposed in the budget on its own, and hence, the model of Public Private Participation (PPP) is essential for speedy and effective completion of those projects. There is no need to be worried over this, for the private players belong to this very state and are committed to the people here, Mani added.
The minister also affirmed that the steps taken by the present Finance Ministry will ensure that the vital local projects are taken to the world market. Within five years, Keralas economy will witness a huge change, with traditional farming paving way for the high-tech variety, formation of large-scale rice parks and coconut farms, he elaborated.
He reiterated that it is probably for the first time in the history of the country that such hi-tech schemes are being undertaken.
The budget is also aiming at creating a wage-earning society, where more emphasis laid on generating more self-employment for youths.