‘Kerala Budget Is An Attack On Keralites’, Says BJP State President K Surendran
Surendran said that the government had increased taxes on everything that it could lay its hands on and it was a testament to the LDF government’s disastrous economic management.
Kerala Finance Minister KN Balagopal presented the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government’s budget today (3 February), a couple of days after the Union Budget was presented in the Parliament.
According to political commentators, while the state’s financial situation is not good going by the deficit numbers, i.e., revenue deficit at 2.1 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) and fiscal deficit at 3.5 per cent of GSDP, what made the opposition parties unhappy was the raise in taxes and rates on a wide variety of items.
The revenue deficit has in fact increased from 1.96 per cent last year to 2.1 per cent this year.
A revenue deficit means that the state’s revenue receipts comprising its tax and non-tax revenue are not enough to meet its non-asset creating expenditures like pensions, salaries and interest payments.
Reacting to the budget, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president K Surendran said that the budget was an attack on Keralites as the government had increased taxes on everything that it could lay its hands on. Further, he said that it was a testament to the LDF government’s disastrous economic management.
The main deal-breaker for the opposition was the levy of a Social Security Cess of Rs 2 per litre on petrol and diesel which are already costly. The following tables list some of the important hikes made in the budget-
Apart from these, there is a hike in one-time cess on motor vehicles.
Both the BJP and Congress organised protests against the 'anti-people' budget across the state.
Showing their displeasure, BJP workers burnt an effigy of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in Kottayam and Youth Congress workers were seen burning the budget papers in Thiruvananthapuram.
Leader of Opposition VD Satheesan said that the government was trying to introduce 'tax-terrorism' in the state.
Also Read: A Tale Of Two Models — Gujarat Vs Kerala
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