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Kerala pledges to increase farmer income by 50% over the next 5 years

The Kerala administration under Pinarayi Vijayan pledged to increase farmers' income by 50% over the next five years and eliminate landlessness, despite acknowledging the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic would be costly to the state's economy.

Chintu Das
Governor Arif Mohammed Khan

The Kerala administration under Pinarayi Vijayan pledged to increase farmers' income by 50% over the next five years and eliminate landlessness, despite acknowledging the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic would be costly to the state's economy.

Despite budget constraints, all welfare and development initiatives, as well as massive infrastructure projects, initiated by the previous government, including the flagship K-FON program to give free high-speed internet to the underprivileged, would be finished on time, according to the statement.

Governor Arif Mohammed Khan addressed the aims of the state's second consecutive Left government in his policy address to the state Assembly. He went on to say that the pandemic will have a 3.82 percent impact on the state's finances in 2021.

"In 2021-22, we forecast a substantial comeback in economic growth to 6.60 percent. The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, may pose a challenge to this anticipation " Khan explained.

Though income revenues are predicted to expand by 37.87 percent in 2021-22, the implications of the lockdown imposed by a surge in COVID-19 cases are likely to limit this, he said, adding that greater revenue and a budgetary deficit were on the cards.

He stated that a counter-cyclical fiscal policy to stimulate the economy has been implemented in order to prevent the economic slowdown from worsening. The Governor recalled the previous government's comprehensive rupees 20,000 crore relief package during the first wave of the pandemic in his remarks.

The state government has previously declared a compensation of rupees 1,000 for all 14.7 lakh households living below the poverty line (BPL) who do not receive any other welfare payments in the current second wave. According to him, everyone would receive a free COVID-19 preventive vaccine, which is critical for building herd immunity against the pandemic.

The extra cost to the state exchequer for free vaccines would be at least rupees 1,000 crore, he said, adding that the government has put out a global bidding for three crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines as well as putting orders with domestic producers for one crore doses.

He praised Kerala's fight against the epidemic, saying the strength and ability of the state's healthcare systems to endure the extraordinary challenge offered by the coronavirus pandemic is drawn from a decentralized, people-centric approach to system construction.

The Governor stated that one of the incoming government's top aims is to increase farmers' incomes by 50% in the next five years. "There will be no landless people in Kerala," he declared, adding that "pattayam" (a deed of lease) will be issued to all eligible landless individuals during the government's current term.

With the help of the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB), the "Sabarimala Idathavalam" project would be implemented to give improved facilities for Sabarimala pilgrims to address their main needs of relaxation and comfort. To ensure quick response and more openness, he stated, an electronic file processing system will be deployed in all government organizations.

New promises included the formation of a cooperative society for young entrepreneurs, online cultural festivals, the establishment of a Centre of Excellence for Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence, more employability centers, and the construction of 4,000 new houses under the LIEF Mission's Phase II and III.

In his two-hour speech, the Governor chastised the Centre for increasing the state's yearly borrowing limitations. "As a result of the states' strong demands, the Union government agreed to increase the yearly borrowing limit from 3 to 5 % of GSDP. Only 0.5 percent of the extra borrowing limitation was allowed, however, it was guaranteed, "he stated.

He also said that the central government's recent actions had been retrogressive in the cooperative sector. Meanwhile, the opposition Congress and BJP slammed the maiden policy presentation of the second Vijayan government. Despite the fact that a new health and education policy was expected in the message, it did not appear, according to the Congress.

It also claimed that the address made no mention of the state's preparation to deal with the third wave of the epidemic. The BJP said that Arif Mohammed Khan's current policy talk was merely a repeat of the previous one.

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