KN Balagopal | hoto: Mathrubhumi
Thiruvananthapuram: Amid ongoing protest against the Kerala Budget 2023-24, the government will likely to make a move in the Assembly on Wednesday. It is likely to relax the fair value of land to pacify the protesting opposition. However, a reassessment of Rs 2 hike in the petrol and diesel cesses is unlikely. Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan and finance minister KN Balagopal had stated that the government will not roll back the fuel cess.
In the Assembly on Wednesday, Balagopal will reply to the discussion on the budget.
Meanwhile, CPM has inferred that the protests of the opposition targeting the tax hikes have not created much impact in the state. Ministers also opined that the protests failed to spark public sentiments against the government.
The increase in fuel cesses may result in price hikes of other items also in the state. As the budget session ends only on March 31, the state government can reserve the reconsideration of fuel cesses to the end of the month, waiting for the opposition protests to subside.
At present, the government mulls reducing the 20 per cent hike introduced in the fair value of land. CPM state committee member and CITU leader P Nandakumar had requested to bring down the hike during the budget discussion. By considering this demand, the finance minister is likely to announce a drop of at least 10 per cent in the hike.
The CPM leaders will convene a meeting soon before the finance minister delivers his replies. KN Balagopal will declare the relaxations only after considering the stance of CPM state leadership.