Budget: Government planning to increase revenue; hike in water tariff first step

SN Jayaprakash

Representational Image | Photo: Reuters|file

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government, which is struggling due to the financial crisis in the state, is turning to revenue collection. This time around, the budget will focus on revenue rather than expenditure. The decision to hike the drinking water tariff is the first step in this direction.

The government had plans to increase the water tariff two years ago, but did not go forward fearing protests.

There have been few proposals in the budget to increase the revenue during recent times. The government is now of the opinion that revenue cannot be ignored further.

The Lok Sabha election is scheduled for 2024 and the local body polls will take place in 2025. The Assembly election will be held in 2026. So, such proposals can be included only in this budget.

The government is holding discussion on the possibilities of increasing non-tax revenues from different sectors. The effect this could have on common people is uncertain.

GST audit

The budget will also aim to increase the revenue from GST by 20-25 per cent. Even though GST was introduced in 2017, the department did not do much to increase tax revenue.

The Chief Minister will inaugurate the department after reorganisation on January 19. With this, the department will begin auditing the returns from 2017 onwards. Finance department sources said that if action is taken based on the audit, the government will receive at least Rs 4,000 crore.

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