Kerala

Kerala Budget 2024-25: Balancing Tradition and Innovation

Liquor Prices, Pension Puzzles, and Fiscal Initiatives Unveiled in State's Financial Blueprint

Thiruvananthapuram: Finance Minister KN Balagopal showcased a blend of continuity and change in the Kerala Budget 2024-25. As the routine ritual of raising liquor prices continued, novel schemes and pension-related decisions took centre stage in the upcoming financial year.

Key Points of Kerala Budget 2024-25

  • Kerala’s budget emphasizes both routine practices and novel initiatives.
  • The budget introduces a hike in Indian-made foreign liquor prices.
  • Social welfare concerns arise as the existing Rs 1600 pension remains unchanged.

Liquor Price Hike

The budget announced a hike in Indian-made foreign liquor prices that may impact the pockets of tipplers. Exercise duty witnessed a Rs 10 per litre increase, sparking debates on the economic implications of such a decision. The government plans to implement this increment in the next financial year.

Galvanizing Revenue

The finance minister disclosed plans to collect Rs 200 crore from galvanization fees. The move reflects the government’s efforts to diversify revenue streams, albeit with potential repercussions for certain sectors.

Pension Conundrum

Concerns arose on the social welfare front as the budget indicated no increase in the existing Rs 1600 welfare pension. The minister clarified that the next financial year would see the disbursement of pension arrears, attributing the delays to constraints imposed by the central government. The minister emphasized a commitment to streamline the pension process in the upcoming fiscal year.

Innovative Schemes and DA Dues

The budget introduced a shift from the partnership pension scheme, aligning Kerala with other states’ approaches. Additionally, a ray of hope emerged for state government employees awaiting DA dues, as one instalment is promised with the April salary. While offering relief to some, these decisions also prompted discussions on the financial implications and potential challenges.

Committees and Future Initiatives of Kerala Budget 2024-25

To address the concerns surrounding contributory pensions, the finance minister appointed a three-member committee to examine the findings of a prior committee. Steps are envisaged to retrieve the share given to the Central Government through the Participatory Pension. The budget speech revealed the formation of a committee to scrutinize the review committee’s report further, signalling a proactive approach to pension-related issues.

Kerala Budget 2024-25 is a tapestry of fiscal decisions, social welfare commitments, and innovative schemes. As citizens brace for changes in liquor prices and navigate the nuances of pension policies, the government’s strategic initiatives and committee formations underscore the state’s commitment to financial stability and social well-being. The coming months will unveil the real impact of these decisions on Kerala’s economic landscape.

Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma is a seasoned Political Journalist with a deep passion for Indian Politics. With over a decade of experience in the field, he has established himself as a trusted… More »

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