Thiruvananthapuram: Welcoming the Union Budget proposals, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Thursday said it provided much relief to the common man and the needy.
However, CPI-M veteran and leader of Opposition in the state assembly V S Achuthanandan said the proposals would lead to spurt in prices of essential commodities.
Stating that budget would meet the economic challenges of the country, Chandy said,"The Central Budget is one that defends economic challenges the nation faces. This year`s budget provides much relief to common man and the needy".
Kerala would be greatly benefited by it and Rs 1303 crore will be received as additional tax, Chandy said, adding, implementation of GST would benefit Kerala which is a consumer state.
Chandy said huge consideration was given for Kochi metro and for coconut farmers. The budget has a provision of Rs 75 crore for coconut development.
Welcoming the decision to increase the quantity of gold an expatriate can bring to the country, he said the state`s demand in this regard has been accepted.
The amount sanctioned to Spices Board was Rs 583 crore, he said.
Initiatives like Women`s Bank for giving priority to women centered projects in public sector and skill acquisition programmes for youth are worth mentioning. Importance is given for food security as well. More funds have been sanctioned for education, health, HR, child welfare, minority, Chandy said.
Achuthanandan said farmers would be put in difficulty as there was no provision in the budget to increase fertiliser subsidy.
On the Food Security Bill, Achuthanandan said the Union Finance Minister was not sure of the implementation of the new Act. The budget totally ignored Kerala. The state expected the announcement of an IIT and that too was not there, Achuthanandan added.
CPI State Secretary Panniyan Rveendran said it was a pro-corporate budget and speed the growth of capitalism under the Congress-led UPA government.
Stating that budget evaded basic issues, he said there was nothing to address the core problems face by the nation.
"All budget proposals are in favour of corporates and anti-common man," he added.