Kerala budget gives emphasis on welfare, liquor to cost more
Thiruvananthapuram, Mar 15 : A slew of welfare measures for the weaker sections, schemes for revival of agriculture and traditional sectors and projects to tap solar energy in a big way are the highlights in Kerala's Budget for 2013-14, which Finance Minister K M Mani presented in the state Assembly today.
Mr Mani proposed tax hikes for cigarette and liquor for mobilising an additional revenue of Rs 370 crore. Tax for cigarettes would go up to 20 per cent from the present 15 per cent and for liquor to 105 per cent from 100 per cent.
An additional resource mobilisation of Rs 1,138 crore has been proposed in the Budget, which envisages an additional expense of Rs 1,400 crore.
While rice would go tax free, he hiked the Value Added Tax rate for luxury commodities from 13 per cent to 14.5 per cent. The prices of luxury cars and several other commodities would go up due to the decision.
Welfare pension for weaker sections, like those for old age, widows and farmers, have been hiked. Welfare pension for farmers was hiked to Rs 500 and for widows Rs 700. Kerala Government's pension for journalists would be hiked to Rs 7,000 from the present Rs 4,500, while that of the non-journalists would go up to Rs 4,000 from Rs 2,000.