Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Friday presented the 2016-17 budget in the state Assembly amidst protests and boycott by opposition CPI(M)-led LDF demanding his resignation over solar and bar bribery scams.
It was after a 29-year gap that the Kerala Assembly saw a Chief Minister presenting the state budget. Chandy is the fourth Chief Minister of the state to present the budget.
Chandy in his budget speech highlighted the various achievements, including the Kochi Metro, Kannur airport projects, during his five-year rule. The budget set the tone for the upcoming Assembly polls.
Chandy said that during the financial year 2014-15, Kerala achieved a growth rate of 12.31% and that it had become a state wooed by investors.
The CM announced Rs 500 crore for rubber farmers and Rs 100 crore for building a new dam at Mullaperiyar.
Rs 40 crore has been allocated for the Sabarimala master plan and Rs 24.6 crore for Vizhinjam port project. As waste management is a major problem faced by urban areas, Rs 18.09 crore were allocated for this purpose. Rs 694 was allocated for urban development.
Education sector will receive Rs 1330.7 crore, while Rs 12 crore will support young entrepreneurs through Angel Funding scheme. Rs 8 crore has been set aside for women entrepreneurs.
Thiruvananthapuram Medical College is to be developed as the Centre of Excellence. Not forgetting the Endosulphan victims, the CM promised Rs 10 crore for their rehabilitation.
Chandy, who took over the Finance portfolio after former Finance Minister and Kerala Congress (M) leader K.M. Mani quit in November 2015 after an adverse remark by High Court on the bar bribery case, presented the budget even as the opposition raised slogans demanding his resignation.
The LDF members holding banners and placards raised slogans for a while even as an unfazed Chief Minister continued with the budget presentation.
After sloganeering, the LDF members marched out of the House and boycotted the budget presentation.
The House had witnessed unprecedented violence on March 13, 2015 when LDF disrupted the budget presentation by Mani, demanding his resignation.