Kerala Budget: New FM Balagopalan Announces Rs 20,000 Second Covid Package, Free Vaccinations

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Finance Minister KN Balagopalan on Friday announced a second COVID-19 financial package of Rs 20, 000 crore for the state in his first budget of new Left Democratic government on June 4.

Apart from this stimulus package, he also announced Rs 1,000 crore to provide free vaccination for people 18 years of age.

According to ANI news, Balagopalan said, “The Central Government is withdrawing from the obligation to vaccine people above 18 years of age. But the state government cannot shirk its primary responsibility. Therefore, I set apart Rs 1000 crore for the purchase of free vaccine for all those above 18 years of age and Rs 500 crore for the purchase of allied equipment. A flawless system will be planned for the distribution of the vaccine.”

“The previous government had allotted Rs 20,000 crore which had been fully utillised to face the pandemic,” he added.

Additionally, Rs 500 crore would be spent on the equipment and facilities for a free vaccination.

“We will consider the concerns over the third wave of the pandemic. The health emergency existing is a challenge to the development prospects of the state,” he said.

The budget also had a revival package for the coastal regions which had recently suffered widespread destruction recently due to sea storms and incessant rains.

This is the ‘revised budget’ presented by Balagopal with certain necessary changes and additions to the full budget presented by former Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac for the 2021-22 on January 15.

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