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CPI-M, Congress slam Budget


Thiruvananthapuram: Political rivals in Kerala - the CPI-M and Congress -- on Friday slammed the first Budget of the second NDA government presented by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, saying Kerala has been ignored.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said it was a blow to Kerala with no mention of the long promised sanctioning of an All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences.

"The proposed hike in fuel prices is going to hit Kerala the worst. Kerala is a consumer-driven state where most products are transported, so, prices are going to further shoot up. The Centre has not taken a considerate view despite the state requesting it to increase the borrowing limit in the wake of the worst-ever floods that hit the state last year," said Vijayan.

State Congress president Mullapally Ramachandran said the Budget has been a slap in the face of Kerala.

"The agrarian sector in Kerala is going to take a heavy beating. What's very evident in the Budget is that there is everything for the corporate world -- the best example is the disinvestment of public sector. It will be a inflationary Budget for Kerala in all respects," said Ramachandran.

Various Central public sector units in Kerala also saw a reduced flow of funds as compared to the previous year.

State Finance Minister Thomas Issac, a full-time economics professor, said the Budget is disappointing and Kerala has nothing to cheer about as Rs 6,000 crore from the Central fund has been cut.

"Kerala appears to have been strangulated by the Centre and without more funds for the state, it could be chaos. I will write to the Union Finance Minister to ensure Kerala gets funds," said Issac.

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