Approving a proposal on increasing the sales tax on liquor to boost revenue amid lockdown, the Kerala Cabinet on Wednesday raised 10 per cent tax on beer and wine and 35 per cent on all other categories of liquor. The state government said it will recommend the Governor to issue an ordinance to increase the sales tax on liquor, in order to find a new source of income during the lockdown.
"Due to the lockdown, all the major revenue sources of the state have been affected. There was a huge fall in revenues. In this case, an attempt is being made to find a new source of income," the Chief Minister's office stated.
As Kerala faces severe economic hardships due to the Coronavirus-induced lockdown the Cabinet also decided to set up an expert committee to submit proposals on reducing the expenses incurred by government departments, corporations and boards. Centre for Development Studies (CDS) Chairperson Sunil Mani is set to head the panel.
The Cabinet has also approved a special package for the revival of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Kerala. The industries will receive the total assistance of Rs 3,434 crore through this package.
After Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday announced the 15 measures of the economic package, Kerala's Finance Minister Thomas Issac has termed the economic package as disappointing. FM Sitharaman announced a Rs 3 lakh crore collateral-free automatic loan schemes for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises along with five other major boosters aimed to revive the sector most hit with economic woes.
Speaking to a leading news daily, Thomas Issac said that with the world trade going haywire, it appears the Centre is trying to create a ''self-reliant India'' and added that the package will not benefit or help the country. He added that it is disappointing as there is nothing for the workers in the package announced.
(With inputs from ANI)
(Image credits: PTI File photo)