Thiruvananthapuram: Amidst the soaring protests against the hike of tax rates and fuel cess, Kerala finance minister KN Balagopal defended the budget saying that it comprises various projects for the future of the state.
The LDF government aims to build Kerala in line with the basic developments and quality of livelihood available in developed countries within a quarter of a century. The budget for the financial year 2023-24 has been prepared in view of this goal, wrote KN Balagopal in a Facebook post.
The minister slammed the union government for imposing additional cess and surcharge over the petroleum products. Only state governments have the authority to impose taxes on petrol and diesel. The union government has been encroaching into the state governments’ domain to foist cess upon the already existing tax, read the Facebook post.
The actual cause of the price hike is the cess imposed by the union government on fuel. It constitutes nearly Rs 20 for one litre of petrol, said the minister.
The minister also noted that the cut in the state’s borrowing limit turned out to be a sudden blow upon the state government. However, the government has been making sincere efforts to ensure that this would not affect development projects or distribution of welfare pensions in the state, he noted.