Kerala is set to see investments of Rs 3 trillion in the next three years, with a major focus on tourism, ports, industrial corridors, and information technology, state finance minister K N Balagopal said on Monday, presenting the Budget for 2024-25.
“Programmes are being planned to attract investment of at least Rs 3 trillion within the next three years. The thrust areas will be projects in tourism that can be completed in a short span, allied developmental activities in and around Vizhinjam and Cochin Ports, development of industrial corridors of Kochi, Palakkad, and Kannur for which land has already been acquired, and IT-IT Enabled Services (ITES),” said Balagopal.
The budget has estimated the revenue for the financial year at Rs 1,38,655 crore and expenditure of Rs 1,84,327 crore. This was Rs 1,26,837 crore of revenue and Rs 1,68,407 crore in total expenditure, as per the revised estimate for 2023-24. The state’s revenue deficit for the year is expected to be Rs 27,846 crore or 2.12 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product. For Kerala, the fiscal deficit is pegged at Rs 44,529 crore or 3.4 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product.
The finance minister said that schemes to attract capital investment in the education sector will be initiated. In a major announcement, the minister said that the Vizhinjam International Sea Port is set to be operational in the next two months.
“Vizhinjam International Sea Port becomes operational by May 2024. We must not forget the delay of at least two decades in the case of Vizhinjam Port, which is expected to redefine the commercial map of South India. The Government is currently coordinating the activities with the strong determination that there shall not be any further delay,” he said. He added that several activities are progressing at Vizhinjam, including activities related to port construction, the construction of breakwater, yard, berth, and office buildings, and the development of allied infrastructure.
Kerala will also be adopting the idea of development zones conceived in China during the late 1970s. “The government intends to create such Special Development Zones (SDZ) to utilize the entire developmental potential of Vizhinjam. Special Development Zones will be created in partnership with the private sector by attracting investment from institutions and individuals, including non-resident Keralites,” Balagopal added. Business Standard