Mr. Speaker and Members of the Assembly,
I have great pleasure in greeting you personally, for
the third time, and wishing you well in the discharge
of your great responsibilities.
2. The year that you have gone through was a very busy
one for you. Measures of far reaching importance like
the Kerala Agrarian Relations Bill and the Kerala Panchayat
Bill were introduced and discussed in the Legislative
Assembly during this year. The former has passed through
various stages and is due for final consideration after
the report of the Select Committee. I hope it will be
possible to pass this Bill finally during the course of
the year and thus fulfill the hopes and aspirations of
the toiling peasantry in Kerala.
3. The Panchayat Bill that has been introduced and referred
to a Select Committee, and the District Councils Bill
that will be introduced in the course of this Session,
are intended to bring about a radical reorganization in
administration. The great aims of decentralization and
democratization of administration which our national movement
had held aloft for well-nigh a quarter of a century will
be achieved to a great extent when these Bills are passed.
I hope that the organization of administration which will
be brought about by these enactments will lay a firm foundation
for carrying out the tasks of the Third Five Year Plan
to which we all eagerly look forward.
4. During the course of year, you have dealt with sixty-eight
Bills out of which forty have already become law. The
rest are going through various stages of legislation.
This year also, you are going to have a very busy and
crowded time. The following are some of the important
Bills that you will have to deal with before we meet next:
1. The Madras Plantations Agricultural Income-tax (Revival)
2. The Agricultural Income-tax (Amendment) Bill.
3. The Kerala Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Bill.
4. The Kerala Beedi and Cigar Industrial Premises (Regulations
and Control of Work) Bill.
5. The Calicut City Municipal Bill.
6. The Kerala District Councils Bill.
7. The Kerala Electricity Undertakings (Acquisition) Bill.
8. The Kerala Co-operative Societies Bill.
9. The Kerala Veterinary Practitioners Bill.
10. The Kerala Criminal law Amendment Bill.
11. The Agricultural Income-tax (Second Amendment) Bill.
12. The Public Servants Inquiries (Amendment and Extension
of operation) Bill.
13. The Kerala Warehouse Bill.
14. The Kerala Libraries Bill.
15. The Transfer of Property and Indian Registration (Kerala
16. The Kerala Gaming Bill.
17. The Kerala Cattle Trespass Bill.
18. The Industrial Relations Bill.
Five Year Plan—Progress of Plan
5. The progress of the Second Five Year Plan and the prospects
of the Third Plan are subjects which must necessarily
command your closet attention. I am glad that there has
been considerable improvement in the capacity of the various
departments to discharge their responsibilities in the
field of developmental activity and fulfill the plan targets.
The target of expenditure in the first year of the Second
Five year Plan was Rs. 18.60 crores and the fulfillment
figure stood at Rs.10.81 crores, while the corresponding
figures for the Second Year of the Plan were Rs.17.90
crores and Rs.14.04 crores respectively. This indicates
that the percentage of fulfillment has increased from
58 % to 78 % i.e.; an increase of 20 % from the first
to the second year of the plan. From the data available
of the first ten months of the current year, it is evident
that there has been still greater progress in the direction
of the developmental activity and fulfillment of targets.
I hope it will be possible to reach cent per cent fulfillment,
in all but few departments, when the final accounts of
year are made up.
6. This is not to say that are no more bottlenecks in
the matter of fulfilling plan targets and every thing
is as it should be. There are, in fact, many more bottlenecks
that have yet to be removed. It is a very important task
of the administration to study and review the various
financial, administrative, accounting and other procedures
with a view to simplifying them so that the tasks set
before the nation can be carried on with the speed and
dynamism that the people demand of the administration
during this period of national reconstruction. This is
a task in itself to which, I am afraid, sufficient attention
had not been paid before. My Government is trying to tackle
this important task; and although the results achieved
so far have not been spectacular, they have been substantial
and they have given great impetus to developmental activities
in the State.
7. My Government is examining the various recommendations
of the Administrative Reforms Committee and is taking
steps to implement them wherever possible. The radical
reorganization of the administration suggested by the
Committee, viz., giving more power as well as responsibility
to the elected representatives of the people at lower
levels will, I am sure, build up a structure of administration,
which will smoothly and ably carry out whatever tasks
of nation building we choose to undertake.
8. The year that we have gone through was a very critical
one throughout India, because of the acute foreign exchange
crisis and the food crisis that developed during the course
of the year. Thanks to the assistance that was extended
to the Union Government by friendly nations, we have been
able to tide over the crisis temporarily. Although our
State is not directly affected to a very considerable
extent by the foreign exchange crisis, we also had our
share of the anxiety that was caused by the shortage of
the foreign exchange for our Plan. I am referring to the
Panniyar Project which was not included in the core of
the plan whereby the possibility of finishing the Project
during the Second Five Year Plan itself was endangered,
I am glad that subsequently it has been found possible
to make available the necessary foreign exchange also
for this project.
9. But it must be noted that this in itself is a very
small thing. At the rate which the demand for power for
Industrial and agricultural purposes is developing in
this State, a situation is soon bound to arise by the
end of the Second Five Year Plan. Wherein we would not
be to meet all of our requirements of power. It is therefore
of the utmost importance that we start as many hydro-electric
projects as we can consistent with our resources. The
Government of India will have to come forward to help
us generously with foreign exchange and other assistance.
This was why my Government was very impatient at the delay
caused by circumstances beyond their control in the starting
of the Sholayar Project. You are aware of the reasons
for the delay in the starting of the project. I am however
glad that my Government have been able to settle the difference
with our neighbouring State and come to an agreement with
them, so that both the States together can develop the
resources of the Chalakudy waters for their mutual benefit.
I congratulate both Governments and all those who have
been instrumental in bringing about this happy result.
This will always be remembered as an example of inter-State
co-operation. It is a greater step towards cementing the
relations of friendship and good neighbourliness between
our State and the State of Madras. This agreement has
proved that all those who had predicted perpetual war
between the two states after-reorganization of States
were false prophets. The formal inauguration recently
of the Neyyar Project, another joint venture, by the Governor
of Madras was symbolic of the new relationship that developing
between the neighbour States.
10. As stated above, the year that we have just passed
through was very critical for the whole of India as far
as the problem of food was concerned. There was famine
or at least near famine conditions prevailed some parts
of India. Naturally Kerala being a deficit State-in fact,
this state has the largest percentage of food deficit
in India-had to share the strains and stresses of high
food prices. Although there was no actual food shortage,
the prices began to rise up from 18 rupees per month far
back in April to 26 rupees in November 1958. This was
not higher than prices ruling in other parts of India
even in surplus States like Andhra and Madras. That, however,
would be not a consolation for the vast masses of our
poor people who had to be rice. In accordance with the
declared policy of the Government, we have tried to stabilize
the prices of rice distribution through Fair Price shops.
This policy required the regular supply of about 20,000
tons of rice the State, to be channeled through Fair Price
Shops, besides the quantity of rice available through
ordinary trade channels. Formerly, this was being supplied
by the Government of India. But, since the formation of
the Southern zone in July, 1957, the Government of India
took the view that it was neither necessary nor possible
to supply any considerable quantity of rice to Kerala
to be channeled through Fair Price Shops. They therefore
gradually reduced their supplies from 25,000 tons to 10,000
tons for several months and then completely stopped the
supply. This created a very difficult situation for my
Government. Although we were told that we would buy rice
from Andhra State for our purposes, we found it well nigh
impossible to get any considerable quantity of rice in
the open market in Andhra, because in the four Districts
of Andhra which constituted the surplus area, the Government
of India had entered the market and fixed a ceiling price
at which they were buying. My Government could not buy
at this price, because we had no power to compel Andhra
traders to sell at that rate to us. The practical result
of this was the non-availability of supplies for our fair
price shops for a considerable length of time, which created
a very difficult situation for the people in our State.
After prolonged negotiations with the Government of India
and the Government of Andhra Pradesh, my Government was
at last able to secure some quantity of rice ;from Andhra
Pradesh at prices to be fixed by the Andhra Pradesh Government.
After the harvest in Andhra, some more purchases have
been made and I hope it will be possible to run the fair
price shops as before. But the situation is not yet free
from anxiety because with the announcement of the policy
of State monopoly of wholesale trade in food grains, the
situation has become again uncertain, so far as the supply
to Kerala is concerned. My Government entirely agrees
with the policy of State monopoly of wholesale trade in
food grains and my Government are co-operating whole-heartedly
with the Government of India in the steps they are taking
to implement it. My Government is taking steps to license
wholesale dealers and have also decided to fix wholesale
price for rice in the State. But with all these measures,
we are not still free from anxiety and that is because
of the peculiar situation of Kerala. For surplus States,
it is very easy to fix wholesale prices and acquires a
sufficient buffer stock at controlled prices from with
in their own state which will be a great steadying factor
so far as food prices are concerned. But in a State like
Kerala, we cannot build up the buffer stock by purchases
within the state. Unless we have a buffer stock and are
also able to make a steady supply to the fair price shops,
it will not be possible for us to maintain a steady price
in Kerala. For this, it is obvious that we have to get
a sufficient quantity or rice from outside the State at
reasonable controlled prices. For this, the Government
of India must come to our help. I hope this special difficulty
of Kerala will be appreciated and necessary assistance
will be forthcoming from the Government of India.
11. The food crisis cannot be solved permanently unless
the production of rice in Kerala is doubled or tripled.
I am glad that my government has realized the necessity
for this and has taken steps to increase food production.
Some success has already been recorded in this direction.
I am sure we will meet with greater success as the schemes
for increasing food production are implemented rapidly.
My Government has devoted considerable attention in the
matter of developing our irrigation facilities, major,
medium and minor. It was with a view to solve the food
problem of Kerala for ever that my Government produced
a Master Plan for utilizing the water resources of Kerala
for irrigation and power production. I am sure the production
of this Master Plan will be acclaimed as an act of supreme
importance by future generations, because it has given
a great vision to the people and invested them with self
confidence that the problem of food can be solved even
in Kerala where the deficit is of the order of 50% . A
large number of medium and small irrigation works have
been taken up during the course of the year besides the
major irrigation works that have already been started
in the Second Five Year Plan. The intensity of the food
crisis has set people thinking all over India and they
have agreed that small irrigation works which do not require
foreign exchange and which can be completed and commissioned
during the course; of a few months deserve greater attention
than they have received before. The help to produce food
here and now and not at some future date. My Government
also has realized the importance of minor irrigation projects.
They have set apart more funds for minor irrigation and
a campaign was started to complete as many works as possible
in the course of this year itself. The people were called
upon to co-operative with the efforts of the Government
by offering ‘Shramdaan’ and in all possible
ways. Rules were relaxed, procedures were simplified and
ever facility was placed at the disposal of associations
of local peoples like panchayats, Co-operative Societies
and ‘Karshaka Sanghoms’ to take up minor irrigation
works in their locality. I am glad that the call met with
great and enthusiastic response. During the course of
the Irrigation Week, minor irrigation works have been
taken up all over Kerala with people’s contribution
ranging from 5 to 331/3% of the cost of the works in the
form of manual labour. This will benefit an area of 14,000
acres of land and it will add 7,000 tons of rice to our
annual food production. This may appear to be a small
achievement but it may be pointed out that this is only
a small beginning pregnant with immense potentialities.
It was an inspiring sight to see young men, students,
policemen and other march with pick-axes, spades and shovels
to the work spots and engage themselves in manual labour
for hours together in the burning sun, inspired by the
urge to Produce more food for our people and thus serve
the country. I hope it will be possible to put forth greater
effort during the course of the coming year and this pattern
of Shramdan and voluntary labour will become a permanent
future of developmental activity.
12. Everybody will agree that the Plan can succeed only
if people’s co-operation to the fullest extent is
made available. But we in India have had to face the problem
of inadequate response of the people our construction
projects. It would be wrong to place the entire blame
for this on the shoulders of the people. The fact is that
we have not created conditions in which the people can
participate unreservedly. As we have paid some attention
to this problem and thought about the ways in which the
apathy on the part of the people can be overcome, we have
met with some success during the course of the year. The
measure that my Government has introduced in the field
of agrarian relations, in the matter of relief to the
indebted agriculturists, etc., and the measures taken
to simplify the complicated procedures, has had the desired
effect in bringing about increasing participation of the
people in developmental activities. I am sure this line,
if pursued, will pay greater dividends in the future.
13. For maximising food production, attention has to be
paid not only to irrigation, but also to the improvement
of methods of agriculture and supply of fertilizers, good
seeds, etc. All these can be achieved only if credit is
supplied to the poor cultivators on a large scale. The
only sure method of achieving these objectives is the
organization of co-operatives on a mass scale for the
supply of credit, fertilisres and manures, etc.to the
cultivators and organizes them for better production.
The adoption of improved methods of cultivation like the
Japanese Method and using of better seed etc., on a mass
scale can only be effected by the encouragement of agricultural
co-operatives. My Government therefore proposes during
the course of the coming year to initiate a big programme
of organizing co-operative societies of cultivators intended
for the adoption of better farming methods and increase
14. In the field of industry also, we have to depend more
and more upon the co-operative form of organization. The
first large scale co-operative industrial unit in this
State viz. the Co-operative Spinning Mill at Cannanore,
is expected to commence production in the coming year.
But the problem of unemployment on a mass scale cannot
be solved on a short term basis by the starting of few
big industries even if that was easy. Hence for providing
employment facilities on a large scale, we have to concentrate
our attention upon stabilizing the employment potential
in industries like coir and handloom employing lakhs of
people. That is why the principle of organizing the entire
body of workers in these cottage industries completely
on a co-operative basis has been accepted. With the large
scale assistance rendered by the Government of India for
the reorganization and stabilization of these industries
viz. handloom and coir, Government has been able to bring
a part of workers engaged in these industries under co-operative
fold. Of course, there are some defects in the organization
of the coir co-operative societies which my Government
is taking steps to rectify. Apart from these two industries
there are innumerable industries which can be organized
on a co-operative basis, if adequate facilities in the
shape of technical advice and finance are provided. My
Governments policy is to see that, as far as possible,
small scale industries are started on a co-operative basis,
so that the maximum benefit arising out of these industries
may be enjoyed by the workers themselves.
15. We have extended the principle of co-operation also
to the field of construction I am referring to the labour
contract co-operative societies, which help to eliminate
the contractor and his profits. I am glad that we are,
in this respect, following the advice of our Prime Minister
who has again very recently reiterated the urgent necessity
of eliminating the middlemen from construction projects
as far as possible. My Government intends therefore to
still further widen the scope of the activities of labour
contract and other co-operative societies engaged in construction,
production and distribution, and servicing.
16. Unemployment is too big a problem to be tackled successfully
during the course of two or three years, especially in
a State like Kerala which has the largest number of unemployed,
both educated and uneducated. But I am glad that the various
steps taken by the Government for the reorganization of
cottage industries like coir, handloom etc., have helped
to stablise employment in these sectors. It must however,
be stated frankly that the one fact that has helped us
in the past year to maintain employment with some degree
of stability is the steady demand for export products
like coir, cashew, pepper, etc. Ours is a State the prosperity
of which depends to a very great extend on the stability
of demand and price for export products in the world market.
As long as the sole market for these products was the
Western countries, we were in a precarious position and
great distress was always caused to the people of Kerala
by the big fluctuation in the trade and prices of these
commodities. We were facing a very critical situation
in the beginning of this year, but the policy of diversification
of trade followed by the Central Government has been of
benefit to us also, because it paved the way for the entry
of East European countries also into our export market.
This has helped to stabilize prices and employment in
a number of industries like coir and cashew and pepper.
I am glad that, as a result of all these, the employment
situation in Kerala has been maintained on an even level
during the course of the year. This should not however
give rise to any complacency. We should exert ourselves
more and more and for rapidly indusrialising our country
by starting big, medium and small scale industries throughout
the State and creating new employment potential. I have
already made mention about the co-operative sector. That
does not shut out the necessity for promoting industries
in the private sector. In fact my Government is doing
everything possible within its power to encourage every
effort at industrialization, whether it is in the public
or private sector.
17. In passing, I wish to express the hope and desire
of the entire people of Kerala that the Government of
India will take a decision immediately to locate the Second
Ship Building Yard in Cochin.
Third Five Year Plan
18. This brings me to the Third Five Year Plan on which
discussions have started in the Planning Commission and
among the public. These discussions have revealed two
broad approaches to the way in which the Plan is to be
formulated-(1) that of “consolidating the gains
already made before making further advances,” and
(2) “making the Third Plan still bigger than the
Second”. My Government is of opinion that the first
approach will be suicidal for our country as a whole and
for this State in particular. It will be noted that even
the full implementation of the Second Five year Plan which
at the time of its formulation had been characterized
in some quarters as “over-ambitious” would
not have created such additional employment opportunities
as would have absorbed all the unemployed in the beginning
of the Plan and given employment to the new entrants into
the labour market during the period of its implementation;
this would mean that the unemployment position at the
end of the Plan would be worse than at the beginning.
While this is a serious situation for the country as whole,
it is all the more so for our State. The only way in which
this situation can be faced id to prepare the plan which
is, in some circles, called “over-ambitious”,
and yet to find ways and means of implementing them. I
hope that the discussions now taking place in the Planning
Commission and among the public will help create this
19. In August 1957, my Government appointed a Committee
to suggest steps to be taken for the progressive adoption
of Malayalam as the official language of the State. The
Committee has submitted its report which will be placed
before you. The Committee has also prepared a glossary
of administrative terms in Malayalam. I hope you will
give appropriate lead in this matter.
20. To safeguard the interests of Linguistic Minorities,
Tamil and Kannada have also been declared as regional
languages of the State and my Government has issued orders
that, as far as possible, officers with knowledge of Kannada
or Tamil should be posted to areas where these languages
are also spoken. They have also issued orders that all
important notifications of general nature should be published
in Tamil and Kannada also in addition to Malayalam, and
those notifications of local importance should be published
in Kannada or Tamil also if the minority linguistic group
is not less than 30% in the taluk concerned. I hope these
measures taken by my Government will satisfy the needs
of the linguistic minorities of the State.
21. Last time when I addressed you, I spoke on the measures
taken for the integration of services. I am happy to note
that the work in connection with the integration of services
is almost complete and the Appeal Committees set up in
accordance with the provisions of the States Reorganization
Act are at their work. Those who feel dissatisfied with
the decision of Government about integration may appeal
to the Government of India who has set up two Committees
to advise them. These Committees are examining these appeals.
I hope it will be possible to finalise gradation lists
in the course of a few months and thus at rest all controversy
with regard to the integration of services. My Government
is also engaged in the task of framing unified service
rules for all the departments and this work has recorded
very considerable progress. It hoped that the work will
be finished during the course of the year.
22. My Government has taken steps to unify the salaries
of all Government servants belonging to Travancore –Cochin
and Madras cadres. By doing so we have also given a substantial
increase in the emoluments of low-paid Government servants,
which has cost the exchequer Rs.1.5 crores annually. This
is in addition to a sum of Rs.1.81 crores per annum that
we have had to incur by increasing the salaries of schoolteachers,
including those under private management. Most of the
recommendations of the Pay Revision Committee appointed
by my Government have been implemented. Even the few that
remain are being examined and will be implemented during
the course of the year. I hope these measures will go
to a great extent to satisfy the urgent demands of the
low-paid Government employees and create a contented and
efficient civil service.
23. I have referred only to some outstanding matters that
must have been engaging your attention. There are many
more which will, in the course of your work during the
year, occupy your time and attention. I wish you god-speed
in your deliberations.