Kerala Finance Minister K.N Balagopal on Friday said that the financial position of the state is abysmally poor.
“Our financial position is really bad. The Centre has not only tied our hands, but also our fingers after they slashed funds,” said Balagopal.
Incidentally, Balagopal’s admission comes few days before the Onam festival season, the biggest secular festival of Keralites.
It’s during the Onam time, when the state government has the biggest pay outs which include advance salary, bonus, payout of outstanding social welfare pension and many more and approximately Kerala needs Rs 19,000 crores to tide over Onam season which is all set to begin in 10 days time.
“The biggest impediment is the manner in which the Centre has slashed our limit of borrowings,” said Balagopal.
Around Rs 40,000 crores of borrowings have been slashed, leaving Kerala, a consumer state left to tighten the belts to the maximum.
The biggest source of raising revenue for the state is by way of taxes received through sale of liquor where one saw the state exchequer receiving a staggering Rs 16189.77 crores up from Rs 12705.79 crores in 2021-22 by way of taxes.
Another source of revenue is by sale of lottery tickets.
Balagopal for a while has been slamming the Centre ever since the revenue deficit grant given annually has been slashed drastically from Rs 19,000 crores to Rs 13,000 crores and this time it’s a mere Rs 4,000 crores .
Among the other restrictions that Kerala blames the Centre is when in the past states were allowed to borrow 5 per cent of the state GDP which has now been restricted to 3 per cent.
Kerala is now preparing to borrow another Rs 2,000 crores in the coming days and after which it will be left with a mere Rs 2,021 the remaining for the calendar year.
(The story has been published via a syndicated feed.)