It’s high time the BJP government reflected on the Centre’s neglect of Kerala. The Centre has politically eyed the state for quite a long time.
The saffron party has been weaving tactics to secure its foothold in the State and expand its political impact. But the party should realize that their approach is illogical. Although it has been almost 3 years since the party came to power at the Centre, not even a single BJP leader from Kerala has been raised to any senior post. Many interpret the move as having shades of vengeance. While other states benefitted from Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s Union Budget presented on Wednesday, it has thoroughly disappointed Kerala. Chief Minister of the state Pinarayi Vijayan had met the Prime Minister a few weeks back requesting to increase the state’s share of rice and to consider setting up an AIIMS in Kerala. But the Centre had turned its back on Kerala.
Not only were the demands put forth by the state ignored by the Central government, but the financial aid demanded has also been cut down. This could hinder the state’s progress. If the existing situation continues, Kerala would, in no time, be back on the regressive path. The only way out is to voice the concerns unitedly by putting aside the ideological intolerances and battle against the Centre’s laxity towards the state.
The shares for the public sector enterprises received so far has also been cut short. Only Rs 1, 450 crore has been allocated in place of Rs 2, 300 crore during the last budget.Cochin shipyard and Cochin Port Trust (CPT), two central public enterprises in Kochi, cannot depend on budgetary allocations and should now raise the investments internally or externally from lenders or investors. The condition of ‘FACT’, the Kochi based fertilizer plant, is no different. Rs 1, 000 crore loan assistance was released last year by selling the company’s plot. The allocation came down by Rs 2 crore this year in the case of Cashew Export Promotion Council. The Marine Products Export Development Authority received only Rs 105 crore in place of Rs 135 crore previously.
The Modi government has slammed the doors on Kerala by cutting short its budgetary share stagnating the growth of public sector enterprises and hampering the future development of the state. Vallarpadam Terminal and other high-profile projects were realized during the tenure of the UPA government when the Centre displayed a soft stand towards the state. When the deflation of food crops stifled Kerala, the state government had presented solutions before the Centre to overcome the crisis. But Modi government didn’t pay heed to any of them.
The request for a financial assistance of Rs 1, 000 crore towards the rubber price stabilisation fundwent in vain. So was the suggestion to increase the rubber import duty. The construction of Palakkad Railway Coach Factory is likely to remain on paper. With the Rail budget clubbed with common budget from this year, the Nilambur-Nanjangud and Thalassery-Mysuru rail tracks would most probably remain a dream.
Every budget indicates that it’s time for Kerala to change its perspectives. When the expectations of making giant leaps in the field of growth and development, are repeatedly shattered, its inane to simply accept defeat. The state should fight for its rights by adopting appropriate democratic methods. The ruling party at the Centre plans to strengthen its political foothold by splitting the state by its divisive policies. It’s better for them to understand that it’s nothing other than idiocy.