Kerala’s economy posted strong recovery in 2021-22: State Economic Review

Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], February 3 (ANI): Kerala’s economy posted a strong recovery rate in 2021-22, with an increase in the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) from (-)8.43 per cent in 2020-21 to 12.01 per cent in 2021-22.

Finance minister KN Balagopal on Thursday tabled the State Economic Review for 2021-22, claiming that the state had posted its fastest growth since 2012-13.

"The stimulus packages, along with other pro-active policy interventions of the state government, augmented growth, particularly at a time when economic activities were severely constrained," Balagopal said.

The sectoral composition of the Gross State Domestic Product reveals positive developments across sectors, the report said, adding that primary, secondary and tertiary sectors grew by 4.16 per cent, 3.9 per cent and 17.3 per cent respectively in 2021-22(Q) from 2020-21.

"The growth rate in the primary sector at constant prices increased from 0.79 per cent in 2020-21 to 4.16 per cent in 2021-22, mainly because of the increase in some crops, livestock, fishing and aquaculture production," he said.

Balagopal said agriculture and allied activities also showed an increase from 0.24 per cent in 2020-21 to 4.64 per cent in 2021-22, which is higher than the 3 per cent growth in 2021-22 recorded at the national level.

Fishing and Aquaculture, as well Crop sectors registered positive growth of 30.1 per cent and 3.63 per cent respectively in 2021-22, he added.

"The industry sector grew by 3.9 per cent in 2021-22 (Q) compared to (-) 2.82 per cent in 2020-21. Subsectors of the industry sector such as manufacturing (3.63%) and construction (2.4%) showed positive growth in 2021-22. The increase in growth in the construction sector is primarily due to the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions in service sectors as well as in financial services in 2021-22," he said.

"The service sector posted a robust growth rate of 17.3 per cent in 2021-22 (Q) as against the (-) 14.44 per cent in 2020-21. This is due to the increased growth of particular sub-sectors of the tertiary sector which include trade, repair, hotels and restaurants, road transport, air transport, and water transport," the report stated.

The growth rate of the Own Tax Revenue of Kerala in 2021-22 was 22.41 per cent, the report stated, adding that the high growth rate is mainly because of the growth in GST, sales tax and VAT.

"The outstanding public debt of the state at the end of 2021-22 was Rs.219974.54 crore. The annual growth rate of public debt decreased to 10.16 per cent in 2021-22 from 14.34 per cent in 2020-21. The public debt — GSDP ratio decreased to 24.26 per cent in 2021-22 from 25.90 per cent in 2020-21," stated the report.

"The total outstanding liabilities of the State are at 37 per cent in 2021-22, which was 37.13 per cent in 2020-21. Kerala’s efforts to improve its finances through the fiscal consolidation path have been jolted by a series of setbacks in realms beyond the control of the State Government. Mobilisation of additional revenue and prioritising expenditure assume significant importance in the way forward towards fiscal consolidation," the Finance minister said.

The Government of Kerala is committed to infrastructural development in the State and the share of Government spending on capital projects in various sectors has increased during recent years. The capital expenditure of the State in 2021-22 was Rs17,046.02 crores and in 2020-21 it was Rs15,438.16 crores.

According to the live register of employment exchanges in Kerala, the total number of job seekers as of July 2022 is 28.4 lakh while it was 34.9 lakh on December 31, 2015.

During the financial year 2021-22, PSUs under the industries Department reported a turnover of Rs3892.14 crores, with an operating profit of Rs386.03 crore. The turnover has increased by 17.8 per cent compared to the previous year.

The government of Kerala decided to celebrate 2022-23 as a "Year of Enterprises" to encourage and promote Micro, Small and Medium level entrepreneurs in the State. The Government was able to achieve the ambitious target of commencing one lakh new enterprises within a remarkable period of 250 days from April 1 to December 7 2022.

As part of this achievement, an investment of Rs6,274 crore and 2, 20,285 new employment opportunities were created in the state. Around one-third of these newly formed enterprises are promoted by women entrepreneurs.

In school education, Government has been giving emphasis on improvement in the quality of school infrastructure. There is an increase in enrolment, i.e the total number of new students who sought admission in government and aided schools for the last five years is 8,16,929.

The government has taken progressive steps on the development of inclusive education. Free uniforms, mid-day meals, financial assistance for meeting the expenses towards travelling, hostel facilities, and excursions for students etc are also provided to promote them. Apart from this, to ensure an all-inclusive education, KITE developed Audio Books for visually challenged and sign-adapted classes for hearing-impaired students of Classes 10 and 12.

In Public health care, the Government’s focus is on providing accessible, equitable, affordable, and quality healthcare services for all. Kerala is at the top of the table with respect to indicators of health. Kerala is the only bigger State in India with a single-digit Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) of 6, whereas it is 28 at all Indian levels. The State has the lowest MMR (19) among the States whereas MMR at the national level is 97. Life Expectancy at birth in the State is at 75 higher than national level (70).

Aardram Mission programme was launched for the development of health infrastructure. Under the e-Health Project, Kerala emerged as the only State in the country where the database of 2,59,55,975 people has been collected and stored as electronic records. This includes 68,34,845 houses, 1,26,83,841 males, 1,32,71,318 females and 816 transgenderAround 1196 Janakeeya Hotels (a hotel network set by Kudumbashree in convergence with Local Government to provide meals at Rs. 20) have been started to achieve the Government’s mission to make Kerala Hunger Free. On average, these hotels sell 1.65 lakh meals per day.

Kerala Chicken-Kudumbasree Kerala Chicken was initiated to ensure the availability of quality broiler chicken meat at reasonable prices to consumers throughout Kerala. It is a scheme implemented by Kudumbashree in convergence with the Department of Animal Husbandry as well as KEPCO. As of now, there are 270 farms and 98 outlets supplying Kerala Chicken across the State. Across the state, 360 women have found their livelihood through farming and setting up a network of outlets under this project.

The State Government is setting up a Textile Processing Centre at Nadukani, an important step towards the localization of high-end textile processing in the State.

The longest bowstring bridge in South India, the 981 meters long, Valiyazheekkal Bridge connecting Alappuzha and Kollam was inaugurated in March 2022.

Phase IA of the Kochi Metro Rail project from Petta to SN Junction (1.8 km) was inaugurated on September 1, 2022.

This year’s theme chapter is on entitled "Higher Education for Growth and Development: An Overview." Improvements in higher education are a pre-requisite for the development of the State into a knowledge society as envisioned by the Government. The Government of Kerala has taken multiple initiatives to enhance academic standards, increase the enrolment ratio, and provide young people with state-of-the-art facilities in the sphere of higher education.

The economic review was prepared by the state planning board. (ANI)