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Kerala suffered Rs 1.56 lakh crore revenue loss due to COVID pandemic and lockdown:Finance minister Isaac

PTI | Thiruvana | Updated: 14-01-2021 20:34 IST | Created: 14-01-2021 20:34 IST
Kerala suffered Rs 1.56 lakh crore revenue loss due to COVID pandemic and lockdown:Finance minister Isaac

Already ravaged by OckhiCyclone and two consecutive floods during the previous years,Kerala has suffered a revenue loss of Rs 1.56 lakh crore dueto the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown, stateFinance Minister T M Thomas Isaac said on Thursday.

Isaac, who tabled the Left government's Economic Review2020 in the state assembly, a day ahead of the state budget,said natural disasters including Cyclone Ockhi of 2017, twoconsecutive floods of 2018, '19 and the pandemic affected thestate's economy along with the return of non-residentKeralites (NRKs) from abroad, mostly following job loss.

The state's growth rates, which were higher than thenational rates of growth saw a downward trend in 2019-20, dueto the setbacks the state economy faced during the last threeyears, the Review said.

''The natural disasters ravaged the state economy affectingthe lives and livelihoods of many and adversely affectingproductive sectors of the economy,'' it said.

''Kerala suffered a revenue loss of Rs 1.56 lakh crore dueto COVID-19. In tomorrow's budget we will discuss how toovercome the post-COVID situation in the state,'' the ministertold reporters later.

The 100 days programme, to revive the social andeconomic life in the state launched in September last year,was ''the exit strategy'' of the government to overcome thepandemic crisis, Isaac said.

''While the target of the government was jobs for 50,000people, over one lakh jobs were created,'' he said.

The Economic Review said the state's economic growthrate has dipped to 3.45 per cent in 2019-20 from 6.49 percent in 2018-19 owing to various natural calamities.

''The quick estimate of Keralas Gross State DomesticProduct (GSDP) at constant (2011-12) prices is Rs 5.68 lakhcrore in 2019-20 as against the provisional estimate of Rs5.49 lakh crore in 2018-19, thus registering a rate of growthof 3.45 per cent in 2019-20. The corresponding rate of growthin 2018-19 was 6.49 per cent,'' the Review said.

According to the Planning Board estimate, the shortfallin value addition in the State was Rs 29,000 crore duringMarch 2020, assuming 10 days of total production loss anddecreased economic activity from the middle of March.

The Board calculated the loss for the quarters of 2020-21with reference to the estimate for the corresponding quarterof 2019-20 and based on this, the first quarter Gross ValueAdded (GVA) of 2020-21 was estimated to shrink to around 26per cent of 2019-20 first quarter GVA.

''The loss in GVA during the second Quarter of 2020-21compared to the same quarter of the previous year isestimated to be 18.5 per cent,'' the Review said.

To add to the state's woes, several non-residentKeralites (NRKs) had returned following job loss due toCOVID-19 crisis, impacting remittances.

The number of return emigrants estimated by KeralaMigration Survey 2018 was 12.95 lakh, about 60 per cent of thenumber of emigrants.''However, this has increased further bythe crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic,'' the Review said.

On the basis of past trends, the state planning boardhas estimated the total volume of remittances of Kerala,including private transfer and NRI deposits to be Rs 2.7 lakhcrore in 2020-21.

''As per the information gathered from authorisedforeign exchange dealers, there has been a reduction of 65 percent in private transfer from January 2020 to May 2020, almostto the extent of Rs 5,691 crore in absolute terms,'' the reviewsaid, adding that as many had lost their jobs and returnedto Kerala, there has been a drastic reduction in transfersthrough exchange dealers.

The Review, however, said in case of NRI deposits, therewas an increase in the amount deposited by emigrants.

It said the total deposits in NRI accounts in thecommercial banks of Kerala was Rs 1.99 lakh crore in December2019 and it increased to Rs 2.11 lakh crore by June 2020.

Deposits have increased by 0.12 lakh crore from January toJune last year.

The pandemic and the subsequent lockdown also affectedthe tourism sector with a loss estimated to be in the range ofRs 20,000 crore to Rs 25,000 crore over the nine months of2020,besides the Kerala Micro Small and Medium Enterprises inthe state.

State planning board Vice Chairman, Dr V KRamachandran, who also attended the press meet along with theminister, said from May to June 2020, trade, hotels andrestaurants suffered an estimated shortfall of Rs 17,000crore.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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