All eyes are on Kerala Finance Minister K.N. Balagopal as he will present the first Budget of the second Pinarayi Vijayan government on Friday.
A post graduate in Commerce and a Masters in Law, Balagopal,57. is a first time legislator, who was given the Finance portfolio by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
He had completed a term in the Upper House from 2010-16, besides, he was the Political Secretary to the then Chief Minister V.S.Achuthanandan in 2006.
“The state is passing through one of its worst times due to the Covid and my Budget would be primarily to address this and would basically target development. This is a huge responsibility and that’s the challenge before me,” said Balagopal.
The biggest highlight of this Budget as compared to the 10 years of the Left rule (2006-11 and 2016-21) is that this is for the first time that a politician turned Minister will present the Budget, whereas, earlier, it was done by high profile economics professor turned Minister- Thomas Isaac.
Isaac’s omission from the list of CPI-M candidates for the April 6 Assembly polls was shocking, although he had four successive terms as a legislator from Alappuzha district, of which two times he was sitting in the Opposition benches (2001-06 and 2011-16).