The budget session of the Kerala Assembly began on Friday with the policy address by Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, amid slogan shouting and a walkout by the Congress-led Opposition UDF.
Here are the updates from Mr. Khan’s address:
Portal for differently-abled
Social Justice Department proposes to launch a portal for registration of qualified and skilled differently abled persons through which they can register their details and employers in the private sector can select the required human resource from them.
It is proposed to develop a portal Paithrukam for senior citizens through which they can register and give information on their domain of expertise.
A new scheme called Parivarthanam will be kicked off to provide psychosocial intervention among former prisoners and women offenders.
The Women and Child Development Department helped provide online education for preschool children under the name Kilikonchal to ensure early education of preschool children in anganwadis has not been disrupted during the pandemic.
Activities under the Nirbhaya programme for hand-holding and rehabilitation of survivors of sexual abuse are under way. Recognising the potential of Gender Park’s projects and vision, UN Women has partnered with it to develop the organisation as a gender hub on south Asian and south Indian collaborative basis.
Kerala Cultural Museum in Palakkad
Second phase of Life housing mission to be taken up in 2021-22 focussing on landless families. Separate scheme for housing for plantation workers will be taken up.
Announcements in the culture department in Governor’s address – Kerala Cultural Museum to be setup in Palakkad. A handloom museum, tracing the history and evolution of weaving in the state to be set up in Kannur. Tagore theatre in the capital to be transformed into a folk-cultural hub.
Reforms in general education
Similar to reforms undertaken in the General Education sector, the government will initiate a comprehensive programme in 2021-22 to improve infrastructure and enhance the quality of education in the Higher Education sector. Class rooms will be digitlised and new buildings constructed in government colleges. A programme will be implemented to catapult the State universities to among the top rankings in the country within a defined time period.
Under the Sree Narayana Guru renaissance scholarship, education assistance will be provided to children of widows or those who have lost both parents with an annual income ceiling of Rs 1 lakh for pursuing medical and medical allied courses in self-financing colleges in the state. Marriage grant assistance will also be provided to daughters of widows and girls who lost both parents and have an annual family income ceiling of Rs. 1 lakh.
Two new wildlife sanctuaries will come into being in the State
The Kallar sanctuary which provides connectivity with the Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary on the north, Kallakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve on the east, Peppara on the south has been proposed along the Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam districts.
The forest areas surrounding the Silent Valley National Park provides connectivity with the Mukurthi National Park in Tamil Nadu on the north, with Karimpurzha Wildlife Sanctuary on its north-west and Silent Valley National Park on the south. Both these areas will be declared as wildlife sanctuaries after public consultation, he said.
The government will also launch a pilot project in collaboration with the Forest Survey of India to digitise all boundaries of the forest in one of the forest divisions of the State. It is necessary to seamlessly integrate forest boundaries with that of private properties, the Governor said.
A species conservation programme aimed at the recovery of critically endangered species will also be taken up. Sixteen inter-state check posts will be upgraded as integrated forest check posts that will facilitiate transport checking of forest produce and illegal movement of captive animals, provide space for Vanasree outlets and also function as information centres for visitors to the State.
Governor announces a slew of new projects in the industries sector in his policy address.
R& D centre for development of innovative products in health electornics will be set up with support of keltron. Research centre for production of value added products in Kerala Minerals and Metals Limited. Department to launch investor friendly programmes to attract investment. To continue and implement key reforms in the sector to make the application processes simpler and faster.
‘Agrarian laws favour corporates and middlemen’
Kerala has to be vigilant against any further regional trade agreements that undermines its agriculture and also persuade the centre to provide at least partial support to rubber growers, Governor Arif Mohammed Khan says.
Agrarian laws favour corporates and middlemen. Will adversely affect consumer states like Kerala, he says.
Government to enact the Kerala Livestock and Poultry Feed and Mineral Mixture Act to protect the interests of farmers against distribution of substandard feed.
12 lakh functional household tap connections to be provided in Kerala during 2021-2022 under Jal Jeevan Mission, he says.
UDF walks out
Kerala Governor Arif Muhammad Khan delivers the policy address at the Budget session of the Kerala Legislative Assembly amidst Opposition protests. Mr. Khan requests Opposition members to abandon sloganeering and not impede him from discharging his constitutional duty. “Do not interrupt me”, he says.
The Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) opposition boycotts the Governor’s policy address and walks out of the Assembly. Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala leads the walkout.
Ten minutes into the Governor’s address, UDF members stage a walkout from the House.
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