KN Balagopal | Photo: Mathrubhumi
Thiruvananthapuram: Finance minister KN Balagopal on Monday said here that the country is heading towards a serious financial crisis due to the defective policies of the union government.
Even if we may not end up like Sri Lanka, poverty will increase. Media and political parties must discuss the situation, he said in a press conference.
The country is facing an abnormal price hike of essential goods due to skyrocketing fuel prices. When the crude oil cost USD 118 in the international market, petrol was sold in India for Rs 60. Now the crude price is USD 105 and the retail price of petrol in the country is Rs 114, he said.
Reacting to the criticism on the loans, the minister said that 40 per cent of the union budget is of borrowed money while it is just 20 per cent for Kerala.
He also said that the state is not planning to slash the taxes on fuel. When the union government is denying what they are owed to us, can we cut what we already get and become another Sri Lanka, he asked. The union government is not allowed to tax fuel as it is the right of state government. Now they charge a huge amount as cess. People should question that instead of asking state to cut tax, he added. Around 17,000 crore will be lost for Kerala this year from the central pool, Balagopal said.