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The Way Ahead
While the Kerala government has been in the news for cost-cutting measures vis-a-vis government expenditure, it has also drawn up a plan to bring the economy on track. While the chief minister says that there will be a change perceivable within a year, some of his bureaucrats believe that it could take at least two to three years for things to come to an even keel. Here are some of the plans:
- The Kerala State Electricity Board to be made more functional and profitable. It runs at a loss of Rs 160 crore a month with average monthly revenue not enough to cover 50 per cent of expenditure. The attempt will be to see that it reduces losses and at least breaks even.
- The overhauling of the state transport corporation to make it viable. It has accumulated losses of Rs 747 crore. The plan: a scientific rescheduling of routes, discontinuing uneconomic ones and closing depots which are not viable.
- Downsize the government by 20 per cent and closing non-functional departments.
- Change of course from the Kerala Model followed for the last 50 years with major emphasis on education and social sectors. Now along with social welfare, there will also be a focus on improving productivity.
- Increasing employment opportunities.
- Importance to be given to IT, tourism and infrastructure development.
- Modernise and open up education.
- New labour and industrial laws to ensure that the climate is right for attracting investment into Kerala.
- A revival package for the agriculture sector which is going through a crisis.
- Schemes for the fisheries, coir and handloom sectors.