Onam expenses: Govt to borrow Rs 2500 crore

Thiruvananthapuram: The state government has decided to borrow Rs 2500 crore from the open market to meet the expenses of Onam festival. Around Rs 7000 crore is required for providing salary and pension during the season of Onam. The government also plans to borrow Rs 1000 crore by this month.

This is within the borrowing limit allowed by the central government. The funds are collected from banks through the debentures issued by the Reserve Bank. The amount has to be repaid in a period of 10 years.

The government had borrowed Rs 1000 crore from the open market last month also. The government borrow money during Onam season every year as the expense escalates immensely. Debentures of Rs 2500 crore are issued which will be auctioned on August 7.

There is a slight decrease in the GST revenue as well. In July, the revenue was reduced to Rs 1498 crore which was Rs 1561 crore in June. It is assumed that the heavy rains and lorry strike resulted in the decline in tax revenue.

However, finance minister Dr Thomas Isaac opined that the tax revenue of Kerala is likely to decrease further as the GST council has reduced tax for about 100 products.

There is not much increase in the income through sales within the state. The income in this category was Rs 693 crore in April, Rs 661 crore in May, Rs 682 crore in June and Rs 650 crore in July. Since consumer products are imported to Kerala on large scale, double the normal income is expected through inter-state GST.

The amount gained through inter-state GST is not fully divided by the centre and the share is not disclosed too. Recently, Kerala received Rs 1100 crore in this category.

With the implementation of e-way bill system, the tax fraud in goods transportation was prevented and Kerala was supposed to get more fund through inter-state GST.

The finance department has decided to ensure e-way bill check in the vehicles. They have appointed 100 additional squads for this with an intention to ensure 20 percent tax growth by December.

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