Kerala Chief Minister V.S Achuthanandan sought Rs.20 billion from the central government on Saturday for rejuvenating the agriculture sector and traditional industries in the state.
During a meeting with Prime Minister Manmonhan Singh at New Delhi, Achuthanandan requested a relief package on the lines of the assistance offered in the Vidharbha region of Maharashtra, where scores of debt-trapped farmers have committed suicide following losses due to natural calamities and fall in prices of cash crops.
Briefing reporters about his meeting, the chief minister disclosed he has also sought the Prime Minister's intervention on the Planning Commission's decision to reduce the borrowing ceiling for the state.
"The finance minister has informed us that the borrowing ceiling for Kerala for the current financial year (2006-07) is Rs 47.72 billion. This is Rs 25.74 billion less than the minimum borrowing requirement fixed by Planning Commission. It will affect the state adversely," he said.
Kerala has also sought speedy clearances for the Vizhinjam deepwater international container transhipment terminal project near the state capital Thiruvananthapuram as also the national maritime development programme and environmental clearance for the Vallarpadam container terminal project.
In a 46-page memorandum submitted to the prime minister, the chief minister demanded various other infrastructure projects including national highway development projects with an eye to promoting industrial activities and boosting investment inflow.