Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Global downturn did not hit state very seriously: Minister

T�PURAM: The global economic downturn did not hit the state as badly as it was thought initially, according to Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac.

The recession did not have its grim fallout on agricultural and industrial sectors, though it battered tourism, commerce and real estate trade, he said in reply to a question in the state assembly Wednesday.

Initially, it was thought Kerala would be the worst sufferer in the event of the crisis persisting, he said.

A study by the Centre for Studies, conducted when the crisis began to grip Western economies, had forecast that the impact of the recession on the Kerala economy would be serious since income from export of cash crops and marine products forms a major source of its revenue.

It was also feared that if the crisis prolonged, it would trigger large-scale return of expatriates, with real estate and construction sector in the Emirates like Dubai crashing.

But subsequent studies showed that the downturn did not result in large-scale repatriation from the Gulf, where over two million Keralites are working, or led to a sharp fall in remittances from non-resident Keralites.

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