The state budget for 2017-18 is planning big for IT development in the state while giving prominence to bridging the digital divide. Declaring that everyone has the right to the internet and terming it a 'citizen's right' Finance Minister Thomas Isaac, proposed to provide free internet to 20 lakh families. The budget also envisages to make access to the internet affordable to all. 
 

Related: Kerala Budget 2017: FM banks heavily on off-budget sources, KIFB for funding projects
 

The budget also proposed to set up optical fibre cable (OFC) network across the state. This would reach every nook and corner of the state just as electric lines of Kerala State Electricity Board. The plan is to lay the OFC network in 18 months. An allocation of Rs.1000 crore has bee earmarked for the project. 

 

The budget also plans to establish free wifi centres across the state and provide free wifi internet for all citizens.

 

Besides this, the state IT mission would get Rs.100 crores. Technopark Thiruvananthapuram, the first IT park in the state, would be provided Rs.84 crores for its expansion plans while Infopark in Kochi would get Rs.24 crores.  

 

 Other budget highlights


- Road development: Rs.5000 crore 

-  A 1267 k.m. hill highway


- Coastal road project gets Rs 1,500 crore


- Marine ambulance: Rs. 2 crore


- Rubber price stabilisation fund: Rs. 500 crore 


- Manual scavenging still exists in Kerala: Government wants to abolish this forever, and ten crores would be set aside for mechanisation of septage cleaning.


- Suchitwa Mission (Sanitation Mission): 127crore


- Establishment of modern slaughter houses: 100 crore 


- modernisation of public crematoriums: 100 crore


- Three crore trees will be planted as part of greening mission


- New posts of 5210 doctors and nurses would be created.


- Public schools will get Rs 5,00 crores through KIFB


- The district, taluk govt. hospitals to get Rs.2000 crore from KIFB


- Smart City Mission:100 crore


- Welfare pensions would be raised to Rs 1100 from Rs 1000


- Paddy procurement: Rs.700 crores


- SC ST welfare and development: Rs.2600 crore