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Kerala Budget Highlights 2023-24

The Finance Minister of Kerala, K.N. Balagopal, presented the Budget for the state for the financial year 2023-24 on February 3, 2023.

  • Kerala’s Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) is expected to increase by 11.2% from 2022–2023 to Rs 11.3 lakh crore (at present prices) in 2023–2024.
  • Spending (excluding debt repayment) is projected to total Rs 1,76,089 crore in 2023–24, up 6% from the previously amended projections for 2022–23.  Additionally, the state will pay back debt in the amount of Rs 49,551 crore.
  • The estimated receipts (excluding borrowings) for 2023–24 are Rs 1,36,427 crore, a 5% increase over the revised projection for 2022–23.  The estimated shortfall in receipts (excluding borrowings) from the budget estimate for 2022–23 is Rs 4,516 crore (a decrease of 3%).
  • The anticipated revenue shortfall for 2023–24 will be 2.1% of GSDP, or Rs 23,942 crore, just slightly higher than the previously estimated 2% of GSDP for 2022–23.  The revenue deficit in 2022–2023 is anticipated to be less than the budget projection (2.3% of GSDP).
  • 3.5% of GSDP is the target fiscal deficit for 2023–24. (Rs 39,662 crore).   The fiscal deficit is projected to be 3.6% of GSDP in 2022–23, which is less than the budget estimate of 3.9% of GSDP.
  • Stamp duties, electricity duties, and car taxes will all be raised, generating more revenue.  For the purpose of increasing income, property tax and royalty on minor minerals will be revised.
  • Make in Kerala: To encourage manufacturing in the state, the Make in Kerala project will be introduced.  This project will receive Rs 100 crore in funding in 2023–2024.
  • Energy: To utilise renewable resources, a new energy complex will be built.  In Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram, green hydrogen centres will be established with support.   We’ll build an EV industrial park.
  • Nava Kerala Nagara Nayam: A commission will be established to create a new urbanisation policy.
  • Controlling inflation: In 2023–2024, Rs 2,000 crore have been set aside for measures.

Off-budget Borrowings

Borrowings made by government-owned organizations, such as special purpose vehicles and public sector businesses, that are not paid back with budgeted funds are referred to as off-budget borrowings.  Numbers for debt and the deficit are therefore overstated.  According to CAG reports, the Kerala government uses off-budget borrowings through the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) and the Kerala Social Security Pension Limited to finance both income and capital expenditures.  According to CAG, this resulted in an 8,774 crore rupee understatement of the budget deficit in 2019–20.  The Kerala government will borrow money outside of its approved budget in 2020–21, according to the CAG.  The Kerala government approved/refreshed guarantees for KIIFB borrowings totalling Rs 12,062 crore between January 2021 and December 2022.

  • Education: Kerala has allocated 14% of its expenditure on education in 2023-24.  This is lower than the average allocation for education by states in 2022-23 (14.8%).
  • Health:  Kerala has allocated 5.7% of its total expenditure towards health, which is less than the average allocation for health by states (6.3%).
  • Rural development:  Kerala has allocated 4% of its expenditure on rural development.  This is lower than the average allocation for rural development by states (5.7%).
  • Urban development:  Kerala has allocated 1% of its expenditure towards urban development.  This is lower than the average allocation towards urban development by states (3.5%).
  • Police:  Kerala has allocated 2.7% of its total expenditure towards police, which is lower than the average expenditure on police by states (4.3%).
  • Roads and bridges:  Kerala has allocated 2.1% of its total expenditure towards roads and bridges, which is lower than the average allocation by states (4.5%).

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