Centre directs Kerala to cancel professional tax
Thiruvananthapuram: The central government has directed Kerala to revise the tax rules which impose extra burden and restrictions on public. Local self-governments are imposing professional tax on salaried employees who pay income tax. Hence, the income tax payers are facing levy of double tax.
Apart from professional tax, the centre also observed additional charges collected for power consumption in Kerala. Examining such issues, the centre has directed Kerala to revise the 4 laws which create financial burden on public.
Employees who receive fixed salary in public and private sector are paying income tax to the government. Apart from this, the local self-governments are levying professional tax from them. The centre questioned the state for levying this additional tax and directed to consider abolishment of professional tax.
For this purpose, the centre directed Kerala to revise Professional Tax Levied under Municipality and Panchayati Raj Act.
As income tax is a source of revenue for the centre, local self-government bodies find income from levying professional tax.
Hence, cancellation of professional tax will affect the local bodies. At the same time, imposition of professional tax is part of the state’s policy. So, the centre would not be able to force the state to cancel it.
Meanwhile, National Building Code for construction of buildings came into force in 2016. This code lists out the security arrangements which are mandatory while constructing a building. Kerala sanctions building construction as per the rules of Fire and Safety Act which is in force since 1982.
The construction sector complained that most of the rules in Fire and Safety Act are outdated. Hence, the centre appealed to the state to revise the outdated rules observing that the National Building Code is already in force.
At the same time, consumers are making payments to KSEB for new connection and usage of power. Apart from this, the state is also imposing another fee called electricity duty. The centre also directed Kerala to abolish this additional charge on power. For this purpose, the centre asked the state to revise the Kerala Electricity Duty Act.
Though Deccan Agriculturalists' Relief Act is a central law, it is being implemented as per the state rules.
The centre informed that action will be taken to abolish the law once the state accepts it as outdated.
Laws which needs revamp
- Kerala Fire and Safety Act
- Deccan Agriculturalists' Relief Act
- Kerala Electricity Duty Act
- Professional Tax Levied under Municipality and Panchayati Raj Act
The centre proposed a revision in the state laws as requested by the representatives of national level industrial organisations. A report regarding this will be submitted to the Prime Minister.