VD Satheesan | Photo: Mathrubhumi
Thiruvananthapuram: Opposition leader VD Satheesan slammed the tax hikes in the Kerala Budget 2023-24 as plunder in the name of financial distress. Satheesan pointed out that tax hikes touched Rs 3,000 crore this year from the previous budget’s Rs 600 crore. The finance minister concluded his budget speech amidst the uproar of the opposition against the tax hikes.
Satheesan opined that the state government has increased tax rates in all the sectors that it has the authority to. The current tax rate for liquor in the state is 247 per cent. Increasing this further may lead people to consume psychotropic drugs, said Satheesan. He also accused the state government of increasing the cess for fuel disregarding the protests raised against the fuel price hikes.
When most of the states renewed tax rates in accordance with the GST, Kerala government failed to accomplish it, alleged VD Satheesan.
The grants and announcements cannot be taken seriously as the government had not spent a single penny for many of the projects declared last year, said the opposition leader.