Kerala minister calls Modi 'modern day Kamsa'

Kerala minister calls Modi 'modern day Kamsa'

Kerala finance minister Dr Thomas Isaac on Saturday came down on Prime Minister Narendra Modi calling him 'Kamsa' for cutting down the SSA allocation for the state in the 2018-19 financial year for the non-BJP ruled states including Karnataka.

"Even kids in Kerala are victims of a vendetta of BJP. Modi is afraid of political threat from them. By cutting down huge amount allotted for the state, he acts like a modern Kamsa," Isaac wrote on his Facebook page.

He alleged that the fund is cut almost half, from 416 crores allotted in the indicative budget to 206 crores. "The original allocation itself was mere compared to the programmes the state planned." When the BJP rules states like Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh did not face much change from the indicative budget, Kerala and Karnataka, which are not ruled by BJP were completely neglected, he alleged.

The budget allocations for states comes after the submission of annual plans to the Centre and the negotiations with MHRD. 60% of the total expenditure of each state for Sarva Siksha Abhiyan programme has to be met by the Centre.

"The State has a 1941.10 crore budget for schools which includes free books and uniforms, martial arts training for girls, skill development programmes  and teachers training. This (cost cutting) comes in the time when the magical achievements of Kerala education receive national attention," he added.

The Union Budget saw an 11% increase in the total allocation for SSA, compared to the previous year. However, the total estimation for SSA by the ministry of human resource development never get fulfilled. "In FY 2017-18, while MHRD estimated a resource demand of 55,000 crores, SSA received only 23,500 crores, Revised Estimates (RE)," says a Centre for Policy Research report. "In FY 2016-17, SSA budgets towards quality related interventions accounted for only 9 percent of total approved budgets" and "Kerala allocated 38 percent and spent the entire approved budget for quality."

Ironically, several central government reports admit that the "share of public expenditure on education has been declining steadily." While the total allocation for education remains 2 to 4% of the GDP for decades, activists and student organisations have been demanding a minimum of 6% allocation. The 2004-05 FY allocation was 28,077 cores while this year is 26,129 cr. "It is also less than the proportion of GDP invested in education in many other developing countries," reads the School Education report of National University of Educational Planning and Administration.