The CPI (M) leading LDF government in Kerala today made a clear statement that it could not reduce the additional sales tax revenue generated on account of increase in excise duty for petroleum products.
Kerala State Finance Minister Thomas Isaac informed the Assembly that though the left government wished to forgo the additional revenue in this regard, it could not do that now due to the financial constraints faced by the state.
However, the Kerala government would take a suitable decision in the future once the state’s revenue goes up with an increase in income from another source, he said.
Replying to a notice for an adjournment motion over the issue by the Congress-led UDF opposition, Isaac also wanted the BJP government at the Centre to roll back their tax share.
“The state is unable to bear the burden (of waiving the additional revenue) in the wake of the present financial position of the state,” the minister said.
Turning the table on the opposition, he reminded them that the entire process of de-regulation of the petroleum price was started during the tenure of the Congress-led UPA government.
Condemning the stand taken by the left government, the UDF opposition wanted it to take a “humanitarian” approach rather than speaking on technicalities on the issue.
Demanding a discussion over the matter, Congress’s Thiruvanchur Radhakrishnan urged the LDF government to reduce the additional tax revenue and follow the trails of previous UDF government.
“The previous Oommen Chandy-led government had waived the additional tax revenue four times and extended a total benefit of over Rs 600 crore to the people,” he claimed.
The Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala also alleged that both the BJP government at the Centre and the LDF dispensation in the state were equal in terms of “plundering” the people.
Before staging a walkout, Chennithala said it would have given a chance to the House to expose the “anti-people oil policy” of the Kerala and BJP government if the matter was taken for discussion.
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