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30 Million for NRKs Welfare: Kerala Government
Friday, March 07, 2008

The government of Kerala has declared a Non-resident Keralite Welfare Fund, with a provision of Rs 30m in the annual State Budget presented by Finance Minister Thomas Isaac.

Responding to the long-standing demand of airlines, Dr Isaac reduced the tax on Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) from 12.5 percent to 4 per cent but it may not help NRKs since foreign flights have already been exempted from the tax.

The allocation of Rs 2m for an international youth festival for NRI children and youth and Rs 2.5m for bringing back bodies of NRKs reflect the overall welfare-oriented Budget.

NRKs will have to fork in more money to buy and sell property back home since the Budget imposes new stamp duties on property transactions done through power of attorney. Apart from this the Budget is silent on any fresh imaginative schemes for tapping NRK funds. The Economic Survey had pointed out the need to use productively Rs 200 bn the State receives in annual NRK remittances.

The Review said that per capita debt stands at Rs 12, 681 in 2005, up from Rs 7,414 in 2001, the highest among the four southern Indian states. Kerala's debt has been steadily rising, from Rs 114.2bn in 1996-97 to Rs 269.5bn in 2001-02 and a staggering Rs 571.38bn in 2007-08. The Budget forecasts a total revenue receipt of Rs 249.35bn and a revenue expenditure of Rs 283.02bn, leaving a revenue deficit of Rs 33.67bn. The cumulative deficit for the fiscal-end has been forecast at Rs 6.27 bn.


 

 

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