MV Govindan | Photo: Facebook
Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala has to take steps to improve the financial situation and measures like imposing additional cess on petroleum and liquor and increasing taxes were inevitable, said CPM state secretary MV Govindan.
He was responding to the protests against the ‘welfare cess’ announced by finance minister KN Balagopal in his budget for the financial year 2023-24 on Friday.
“The union government has cut off Rs 40,000 crore from the income of Kerala. Rs 2,300 (expected additional income from the fuel cess) is nothing when compared to this. But we need to take some measures to provide the downtrodden with welfare pension and other benefits,” he said.
He also slammed the media for “not challenging” the union government when it imposed cess. “It is the media that is making all the fuss about the Kerala budget, not the public. You remained silent when the union government hiked the cess 15 times,” he alleged.
Govindan also said that the discussions on the budget are not over and appropriate decisions will be made when the time comes.
It is hinted that the government will withdraw the cess on petrol and diesel. Govindan met the chief minister on Saturday morning. LDF leaders have also expressed concern about the price hike.