Budget brings cheers to north Kerala

The maiden budget presented by Finance Minister K.N. Balagopal has been generally welcomed by various quarters for some of its announcements, including a ₹20,000-crore package to tide over the crisis induced by the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the State.

The proposal to establish a separate block at the Kozhikode Government Medical College Hospital will help effectively manage airborne and highly dangerous contagious diseases such as COVID-19 and Nipah. Kozhikode will get a share of the ₹50 crore earmarked for Thiruvananthapuram medical college as well.

The proposal for Norka Self-Employment Scheme for rehabilitating Gulf returnees who lost their jobs will help them rebuild their lives in the State. A total of ₹1,000 crore will be provided as loan at low interest in association with various financial institutions. The budget allocation towards welfare schemes for expatriate Keralites has also been enhanced to ₹170 crore.

Another proposal that received appreciation is the Coastal Highway Project for which a sum of ₹6,500 crore has already been sanctioned from KIIFB.

The proposal for a Malabar Literary Circuit – a tourism circuit joining places such as Thunchan Memorial, Beypore, Thasrak, Ponnani, Trithala and banks of Bharathapuzha — is expected to boost tourism in north Kerala.

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