Budget Current Affairs

Highlights of Kerala State budget 2017-18

The Kerala State budget 2017-18 was presented by the State Finance Minister Dr Thomas Isaac. It was is the first full-fledged budget of the present Left Democratic front (LDF) government.

In the Budget speech the minister held that the Centre’s demonetization move has affected all sectors of life and will cause economic slump. It also mentioned that state is prepared to introduce Goods and Services Tax.

Key Highlights
  • Various social welfare measures were announced. Over one lakh homeless people to get houses under budgetary provisions.
  • Medicines for treatment of lifestyle diseases such as blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol will be free at primary health centres.
  • Health data register having the health details of all the citizens was proposed. Autism parks will be set up in all districts of the state.
  • Proposed to spend Rs 150 crore on water conservation projects in the wake of state facing its worst drought season.
  • Internet facility will be made a right of citizens. Basic free internet services will be provided to 20 lakh poor families. For this digital connectivity will be boosted.
  • High priority was given to the development, security and rehabilitation of the women. Rs 68 crore was announced for women protection.
  • Separate women battalion, police stations will be there in state and public registry of the sex offenders will be created, which will be first of its kind.
  • For achieving target Clean Kerala, Suchitwa Mission was allocated Rs. 127 crore. Efforts will be made to completely end manual scavenging. Rs 10 crore allocated for mechanization of sewage maintenance.
  • Rs 100 crore wass allotted for clean crematoriums with focus on clean streets. 3 crore trees are to be planted in a span of three years. Rs 50 crore allotted for scientific landfills.

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N K Singh panel submits report on changes in FRBM Act  

The Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Committee has submitted its 4 volume report on changes in FRBM Act, 2013 to the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

The 5 member committee was headed by N.K. Singh, former Revenue and Expenditure Secretary and former MP. Its member included RBI Governor Urjit Patel, Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian, former Finance Secretary Sumit Bose, and National Institute of Public Finance and Policy Director Rathin Roy.

Key Facts
  • The committee was constituted in May 2016 following Finance Minister Budget 2016-17 announcement. It was assigned task to review the working of the FRBM Act over last 12 years to suggest the way forward.
  • It was also tasked to examine the need and feasibility of having a ‘fiscal deficit range’ as the target in place of the existing fixed numbers (percentage of GDP) as fiscal deficit target.
  • The committee has kept in view the broad objective of fiscal consolidation and prudence and has suggested changes required in the context of the uncertainty and volatility in the global economy.
  • The first volume of the report addresses the issue of the fiscal roadmap, fiscal policy, international experience and recommendations therein.
  • The second volume refers to international experience especially from a lot of international organisations particularly OECD, the World Bank, ILO.
  • The third volume deals with Centre-State issues. The fourth volume deals with views of domain experts both from national and international appropriate for fiscal policy

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