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INDIA

Kerala Budget 2022: Fin Minister K N Balagopal presents Budget in the Assembly today

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Thiruvananthapuram: State Finance Minister K N Balagopal, today, presented his first full budget to the Kerala Assembly, expressing hope that the Centre would approve the southern state’s proposal to build a semi-high-speed railway line and allocating Rs 2,000 crore for land acquisition.

The Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board will provide an initial amount of Rs 2,000 crore for land acquisition for the proposed semi-high speed K-Rail project, dubbed the SilverLine project, according to the Finance Minister (KIIFB).

The SilverLine project, which is expected to cut travel time from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod to around four hours, is a joint venture between the Kerala government and the Ministry of Railways, according to the minister.
A total of Rs 10 crore has been set aside for the studies of students who have returned from the war-torn Ukraine.

Balagopal expressed hope that the Centre would approve the Kerala government’s over Rs 60,000 crore K-Rail project, noting that the ‘eco-friendly’ project is critical for the state’s development.

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The state government had previously asked the federal government to provide funding for the semi-high-speed railway project. However, it was not mentioned in Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s Union Budget presentation in February.

Balagopal also set aside Rs 2,000 crore to deal with the rising cost of living as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, and the possibility of a price hike for petroleum products. Meanwhile, the Finance Minister proposed creating a new IT park, four IT corridors, and 20 satellite IT hubs in the state to tap the potential of the information technology sector in the post-COVID era.

He said that a new IT park would be built in Kannur district, and that the international airport there would help to boost the sector’s growth in the northern district.

The proposed IT corridors would run parallel to the National Highway-66, which is being expanded to four lanes, and would start at existing IT parks such as Technopark, the state capital’s first IT hub, according to the minister.

Balagopal added that the KIIFB has set aside Rs 100 crore for the expansion of IT parks and Rs 1,000 crore for land acquisition in the sector

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