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    CM Chandy presents budget amid protests by Opposition

    CM Chandy presents budget amid protests by Opposition

    Thiruvananthapuram: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy 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, 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.

    Chandy in his budget speech highlighted the various achievements, including the Kochi Metro, Kannur airport projects, during his five-year rule.

    The House had witnessed unprecedented violence on March 13, 2015 when LDF disrupted the budget presentation by Mani, demanding his resignation.

    Budget highlights:

    1. Rs 6 crore has been allocated for Zero Landless Kerala project.
    2. Rs 5 crore has been allocated to modernise treasuries.
    3. Grandinaid programme for starting dialysis centres allocated Rs 10 crore.
    4. Rs 150 crore allocated for providing two LED bulbs in every house in the state.
    5. Kasargode to get Solar Park
    6. Plastic goods to attract more tax.
    7. Handloom cooperative societies will be reimbursed the VAT amount paid by them.
    8. Coconut farmers has been exempted from tax.
    9. Considering the difficulties faced by the farming sector, farming income has been exempted from tax.
    10. Rationshops to distribute rice free for BPL families. So far, it has been distributed at Rs 1 per kg.
    11. Public Distribution through ration shops gets Rs 10 crore for its improvement.
    12. Student Police Corps that has inspired the country to get a directorate, Rs 1 crore has been allocated for the purpose.
    13. Stree Shaktri Lottery to be formed and income to be allocated for women empowerment.
    14. Income from state lottery sales increased from Rs 557 crore to Rs 5445 crore.
    15. Irrigation projects gets an allocation of Rs 491.47 crore
    16. Gender equality, women empowerment to get priority in the state
    17. Old Age pension for those above 75 years to be increased from Rs 1000 to Rs 1500
    18. Kakkanad International Women's Trade Centre to be formed, for initial studies Rs 5 crore has been allocated
    19. For Snehapoorvam programme, that takes of the educational expenses of orphaned children, Rs 40 crore has been allocated
    20. Rs 10 crore allocated for Endosulfan victims rehabilitation
    21. Social Security has been a priority to the government, Rs 583.52 crore has been allocated for this purpose
    22. Cancer patients from SC segment will be given free treatment at the Regional Cancer Centre in Thiruvananthapuram
    23. Norka gets Rs 28 crore
    24. Waste Management Authority will be formed, Rs 25 crore has been allocated
    25. Rs. 694 crore for urban development, Rs18.09 crore for waste management in urban areas
    26. Housing for All project gets 70.92 crore
    27. Rs 33.64 crore for the development of Ayurveda Medical Colleges
    28. Thiruvanathapuram Medical College to be developed as Centre of Excellence
    29. Rs 100 crore for Pariyaram Medical College
    30. Malabar Cancer Centre gets Rs 29 crore
    31. Medical Colleges allocated Rs 121 crore, dental colleges gets Rs 24 crore, Nursing colleges gets Rs 4.67 crore
    32. Rs 100 crore has been allocated for building a new dam at Mullaperiyar
    33. LightMetro rail in Thruvanthapuram and Kozhikode will become a reality
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