Kerala budget: Liquor and fuel costs to increase, social security cess leviedtext_fields
Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala government has imposed Social Security Cess on the sales of petrol, diesel, and liquor to mobilise additional revenue in the state budget.
Finance Minister K N Balagopal, while presenting the budget for fiscal 2023-24, said the government is proposing to levy a Social Security Cess at the rate of Rs 20 for each bottle of IMFL having MRP between Rs 500 and Rs 999. The tax will be levied at the rate of Rs 40 per bottle of IMFL having MRP above Rs 1,000.
The state is expecting an additional revenue of Rs 400 crore through this.
Another measure towards the Social Security Seed Fund is proposed to be brought by bringing the Social Security Cess on sale of petrol and diesel at the rate of Rs 1 per litre, reported PTI. "This is expected to bring in additional revenue of ₹ 750 crore to the Social Security Seed Fund," said the minister. He added that the existing fair value of land would be increased by 20% to bridge the gap between market value and fair value.
The budget presented on Friday has reduced the one-time tax on electric motor cabs and electric tourist motor cabs to 5% of the purchase value to minimise air pollution and promote public transport. It allocated Rs 100 crore for welfare programmes and set aside Rs 2,000 crore for tackling the price rise.
Balagopal also announced several initiatives for the infrastructure and higher education sector. He asserted that Kerala is not in a death trap despite the challenges faced due to the financial policies of the Centre and its decision to impose cuts on its borrowing limit. The minister also assured that the financial constraints will not impact the welfare and social security schemes of the government. Rs 80 crore is set aside to alleviate extreme poverty as the state does not intend to ignore the common people while announcing big projects.
The 'Make in Kerala' project will be given more importance to increase domestic production and boost employment as well as investment opportunities. "A total of Rs 600 crore would be set aside for rubber subsidy in the state budget. A separate Research and Development budget would be presented to give more focus to the R&D sector. An extensive industrial and commercial centre will be developed in the area around the under-construction Vizhinjam port," said the finance minister.