Kerala govt prioritises budget amid economic constraints

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Thiruvananthapuram, Jul 11 (PTI) Facing an acute financial crisis, the Left government in Kerala on Thursday decided to cut unnecessary expenditure and prioritise certain areas in the current financial year's budget.

In a statement, the Chief Minister's Office said that the state Cabinet has decided to make necessary adjustments to the budget allocation for the 2024-25 financial year, due to economic constraints caused by central policies.

The Cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, constituted a ministerial sub-committee comprising ministers from key departments-- including Finance, Revenue, Industry and Law, Water Resources, Power, Forests, and Local Self-Government and Excise -- to make necessary adjustments to the budget allocation.

The statement said that before the ministerial committee approves projects including those currently being considered, their necessity will be examined. This will be done by a committee consisting of the Chief Secretary, Finance Secretary, Planning Secretary, and concerned department secretaries will review and make recommendations.

Although the statement did not specify the nature of the adjustments, official sources revealed that the measure aims to cut unnecessary expenditures and prioritise areas directly impacting the public.

The decision came after a dismal showing in the Lok Sabha elections by the ruling CPI(M)-LDF. It had prompted the constituents of the ruling front to carefully review the government's performance. The LDF could win just one Lok Sabha seat out of 20 in Kerala, leading to a thorough scrutiny of the government's actions.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet also decided to ensure proper coordination among various departments for development projects and activities. For this purpose, a ministerial subcommittee comprising the Finance Minister, Revenue Minister, and Law Minister will be constituted.

The minister of the department concerned with the subject matter under consideration will be specially invited to the meeting as a special invitee, the CMO statement said.

The Chief Secretary will be the committee's secretary.

The committee will submit its recommendations, which will be implemented with the approval of the Chief Minister, it added. PTI TGB TGB ROH

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