Thiruvananthapuram: The district panchayat presented the budget for 2018-19 here on Wednesday pegging the biggest ever income and expenditure at Rs 392.27 crore and Rs 380.26 crore respectively. In her third budget, vice-president A Shailaja Beegam drastically scaled up the proposed income and expenditure which was backed by president V K Madhu who later termed it realistic.
The income and expenditure had seldom crossed Rs 200 crore in the previous fiscals. The panchayat had presented a surplus budget expecting revenue of Rs 177.34 crore and expenditure of Rs 176.47 crore with a surplus of Rs 86.05 crore for 2017-18. In 2016-17, the panchayat had proposed revenue of Rs 156.74 crore and expenditure of Rs 156.01 crore reserving a surplus of Rs 72.95 lakh.
The panchayat expects to source this unprecedented rise in income for the next fiscal from non-tax revenue, general purpose fund, revenue grant for plan expense, revenue grant for non-plan expense, capital income and old surplus.
The panchayat plans to carry forward its proclaimed agenda on nature conservation, promotion of agriculture and conservation of water resources. Rs 1.75 crore has been ear-marked for promoting pesticide-free organic farming. Shailaja Beegam said that organic farming will be launched in 3,000 units this fiscal.
The prestigious ‘Jalasamridhi’ project has been allocated Rs 200 crore. A detailed project report will be prepared under this scheme for the conservation of Vamanapuram River. The budget gives thrust on supply of nutritional food for kids aged between 3 and 6 in hilly tribal hamlets of the district. The panchayat has set aside an amount of Rs 25 lakh for the implementation of project called ‘Kalam’ which aims at distribution of nutritional food to kids of the age group 3-6.
An amount of Rs 62 crore has been allocated for improvement of roads. The budget proposes launch of a special package to upgrade the roads in the district under the panchayat. The budget has added Rs 1 crore for the installation of solar power panels in buildings of district panchayat.
The vice-president also presented the labour budget for 2018-19 which plans to generate 105 lakh man days for 1.75 lakh families of 73 village panchayats. An amount of Rs 451.5 crore has been set aside for labour budget. The budget aims to ensure 100 days employment for 35,000 families.
The vice-president has also retained Great Way project which is being envisaged as a joint venture among various departments aimed at creating walkways and cycle tracks along the 12km distance between Vellayambalam to Aruvikkara dam.