National

Kerala to tap global markets for funds to build infrastructure

VINSON KURIAN Thiruvnanathapuram | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on July 24, 2015

Kerala Finance Minister KM Mani has proposed the setting up of a Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board with initial capital of Rs 2,000 crore to raise funds for eight identified infrastructural projects.

The State government would also appoint a financial consultant through a process of competitive bidding to raise money for the projects.

IDENTIFIED PROJECTS

Mani announced this in the State Assembly while presenting the Appropriation Bill saying this was part of a programme to tap global markets to raise funds for creating superior infrastructure in the State.

The identified big-ticket projects are: Vizhinjam international deepwater multi-purpose port and container transshipment terminal; the light metro projects for Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram; the Koch Metro and its proposed extension; first phase of the rapid rain transport system between Thiruvananthapuram and Chengannur; the Kerala highway project; and the second phase of the Vytilla Mobility Hub.

BLEAK PICTURE

The mass rapid transport systems and the State highway project would help decongest the road networks, improve commuter comfort, reduce commuting time and reinvigorate the local economy.

The minister went on to paint a bleak picture about the state's economy, saying the public debt has ballooned to Rs 1,35,458 crore this year from Rs 1,19,009 crore from last year.

This is despite an increase of 2.5 per cent increase in the state's share of Central taxes. On the flip side, though, the aid for centrally-sponsored projects has been cut down.

REVENUE HIT

The government would incur an additional financial burden of Rs 5,277 crore for implementing the 10th pay commission award for employees and teachers.

Fall in petroleum and rubber prices, tax exemption for essential commodities and medicines, drastic reduction in liquor sales and tax relief accorded to gold merchants have impacted revenue collections, Mani said.

Published on July 24, 2015

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