Ahead of the state budget to be presented on February 3, Kerala Finance Minister K.N.Balagopal has sought the people’s suggestions to reinvigorate the sagging economy of the state.
Balagopal, a former student leader who started from the SFI, then upgraded to the Youth wing before making it to the CPI(M) has already met people from all walks of life, occupying important positions to exchange ideas.
On Thursday night, the minister held an informal meeting with the media in the state capital and sought their views on the economy and measures to boost it.
Currently, the biggest stumbling block before the government is the burgeoning public debt which has crossed a whopping Rs 3.5 lakh crore.
A media critic on condition of anonymity said it is a huge challenge for the relatively young finance minister, who is basically a politician first unlike the former two time CPI(M) Finance Minister Thomas Isaac who held the post from 2006-11 and then 2016-21.
“The problem with inviting ideas is at times thinking out of the box can create confusion. Isaac was one who not only reached out to the public but implemented a few ideas as well. Unfortunately, in Kerala, everything is politicised and there is no political consensus, even on developmental issues. Balagopal should bring the opposition party members on the discussion table and seek their opinions as well,” said the critic.
Now, all eyes are on the minister’s third budget presentation to see how much the fresh ideas have yielded results.