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Kerala to Focus on Inclusive Growth, Social Investment and Developing Knowledge Economy in Next Five-Year Plan

Neelambaran A |
The 14th five-year plan will take forward the goals of the LDF government in improving different sectors in the state, including public education and health, tourism, Infrastructural development, Agriculture and Environmental challenges.
Kerala to Focus on Inclusive Growth, Social Investment and Developing Knowledge Economy in Next Five-Year Plan

Image Courtesy: Twitter/@spbkerala

The Kerala State Planning Board (PSB) has published the draft Approach paper for the 14th Five-Year Plan after widespread consultations with 44 working groups. The plan aims to increase the standard of living in the state to match an advanced middle-income country in the globe.

Insisting on the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government's plank on inclusive growth, the draft has planned to continue emphasising social investment in health, education and housing and social and gender justice.

Despite expecting stringent financial constraints, the LDF government aims to create a 'Knowledge Economy' to enhance growth in agriculture and modern industry by utilising science and technology.

However, the draft has highlighted the decline in the share of agriculture in the state's income, reducing productivity in the agricultural sector owing to the vulnerability in international prices and predatory import policies.

Kerala has shot to fame in recent years as a result of the goals set in the 13th five-year plan, including Kerala Fiber Optic Network (K-FON), infrastructure developments through Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB), housing for the poor through LIFE Mission, the constitution of Kerala Bank and increased Welfare pensions.

Though not yet finalised, the resources for the 14th plan are estimated to be around Rs 2.15 lakh crore, supplemented by investments from KIIFB.


The LDF government decided to continue with the economic planning, even as the Union government led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) since 2014, and several state governments decided to abort the planning boards. The discussion for the 14th plan for 2022-27 was set in motion in September 2021 with the formation of 44 working groups, with around 1,200 groups addressing issues and concerns of different sectors.

Kerala has a history of public consultation for economic planning, the first being the publication of 'Building a Democratic and Prosperous Kerala' in 1956 by the Communist Party of India ahead of the 1957 elections.

Through the 14th plan, the LDF government plans to present a secular, democratic, socially inclusive and high-growth alternative to the country and the world.

The plan has set higher benchmarks, ensuring an inclusive policy to ensure growth reaches the socially and economically downtrodden. The new plans are charted based on the achieved socio-economic parameters, including the state's achievements in the Human Development Indices (HDI).


In recent years, since 2016, after the announcement of demonetisation, hasty implementation of Goods and Sales Tax, natural disasters, including massive floods in 2018 and 2019, the Nipah outbreak and the COVID-19 pandemic have proven to be stumbling blocks in the growth of Kerala.

Despite the challenges, the state achieved a 9.15% growth rate at constant prices in the 2017-20 period, an 11% share in Gross State Value Added (GSVA) in the manufacturing sector, improved performance of the public sector undertakings (PSUs), and a spike in Information Technology sector exports among several others.

The 14th plan has formulated goals to surpass the previous achievements by ensuring the availability of science, technology and skills available to a 'Knowledge Economy', besides creating an ecosystem for innovations.

Besides higher education, medical and public health, labour and labour welfare, productive sectors including agriculture, industry, IT, Tourism and international and internal trade, and infrastructural development, the plan has emphasised focus on environmental challenges, including disaster management as well.

The decentralised planning in the local self-government (LSG) levels for flood mitigation and preservation of the rich biodiversity is also mooted in the proposal. The State Action Plan for Climate Change (SAPCC) is based on the lessons learned from the Okhi cyclone and floods. The draft proposal aims to use digital and spatial technology for disaster resilience.


The sector in desperate need of attention from the state is agriculture. Despite effective intervention from the LDF government, productivity, crop patterns, and prices for several products remain challenging for the farmers.

The negative growth of the agriculture and allied sector, along with the crop sector and productivity, has called for further intervention from the government. The fall in prices due to the free import of products, including tea, coffee, rubber, cardamom and coconut, has had an adverse impact.

The plan has put forth the ideas to change crop management practices, mechanisation, agricultural marketing and research to take the industry forward to ensure self-sufficiency.

The government of Kerala has been allocating a higher proportion of funds for the Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) population, greater than the proportion of the population, contrary to the 6% allocation in the Union budget. In comparison, the population of SC and ST are 25%.

The focus is on further improving the education, healthcare and infrastructure development for the depressed classes.

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