Already ravaged by Ockhi Cyclone and two consecutive floods during the previous years, Kerala has suffered a revenue loss of Rs 1.56 lakh crore due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown, said state Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac.
The state’s growth rates, which were higher than the national rates of growth saw a downward trend in 2019-20. The Board calculated the loss for the quarters of 2020-21 with reference to the estimate for the corresponding quarter of 2019-20.
The 100 days programme, to revive the social and economic life in the state launched in September last year, was “the exit strategy” of the government to overcome the pandemic crisis, Isaac said.
The Economic Review said the state’s economic growth rate has dipped to 3.45 per cent in 2019-20 from 6.49 per cent in 2018-19 owing to various natural calamities. To add to the state’s woes, several non-resident Keralites (NRKs) had returned following job loss due to COVID-19 crisis, impacting remittances.
The Review, however, said in case of NRI deposits, there was an increase in the amount deposited by emigrants. It said the total deposits in NRI accounts in the commercial banks of Kerala was Rs 1.99 lakh crore in December 2019 and it increased to Rs 2.11 lakh crore by June 2020.
The pandemic and the subsequent lockdown also affected the tourism sector with a loss estimated to be in the range of Rs 20,000 crore to Rs 25,000 crore over the nine months of 2020, besides the Kerala Micro Small and Medium Enterprises in the state.