Kerala budget for 2004-05 presented in the Assembly on Friday laid emphasis on agriculture, IT and tourism, making enhanced allocations to these sectors.
Finance Minister K Sankaranarayanan made tax and revenue-boosting proposals to mop up additional resources to the tune of Rs 495.05 crore (Rs 4.95 billion) and anticipated the coming fiscal to end with a cumulative deficit of Rs 751.34 crore (Rs 7.51 billion).
He also presented a vote-on-account for the first four months of 2004-05.
Major sectoral allocations included Rs 44 crore (Rs 440 million) for farm sector, Rs 93.75 crore (Rs 937.5 million) for IT, Rs 60 crore (Rs 600 million) for tourism, industries Rs 85 crore (Rs 850 million) and traditional industry Rs 20 crore (Rs 200 million).
The finance minister said the state government had also formulated a special employment package for Rs 127 crore (Rs 1.27 billion) for creating more jobs in the agricultural and industrial sectors.
Rs 606 crore (Rs 6.06 billion) was allocated for power sector aiming at capacity addition of 391.5 MW besides strengthening the transmission and distribution network.
Proposals amounting to Rs 134.56 crore (Rs 1.34 billion) were made for education sector and around Rs 70 crore (Rs 700 million) for health.
As a sop to government employees, payment of 10 per cent DA this year, involving a commitment of Rs 812.80 crore (Rs 8.13 billion), has been promised.
An additional revenue of Rs 100 crore (Rs 1 billion) was expected by levying specific duties for different segments of Indian made foreign liquor.
Textile and tobacco were brought under the purview of entry tax to net a total Rs 50 crore (Rs 500 million). A similar levy of three per cent was also slapped on milk brought from neighbouring states.
The tax on cooked food supplied by star and bar hotels was extended to food supplied on aircraft, ships and steamers, and private caterers were slapped with licence fee to net an income of Rs 4 crore (Rs 40 million).