Expressing deep concern over the steep fall in the State’s share of Central taxes in the Union Budget, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had turned a blind eye to Kerala’s demands.
In a press note issued here on Saturday, he said the budget had nothing in it to strengthen the economy or address social security and development, instead it would aggravate inflation and unemployment. At a time when the country needed balanced development, the Centre had chosen to tread the opposite direction.
Mr. Vijayan said the budget proposal to impose 22% tax and surcharge on cooperative societies would have a debilitating impact on the cooperative sector in general and financial institutions in particular.
He said the Centre had completely ignored Kerala’s appeal for financial assistance to overcome two successive floods and deprived the State of its legitimate share of taxes.
The Chief Minister added that the Central government had chosen to brush aside the State’s memorandum seeking assistance for major projects like the semi-high-speed rail corridor, Sabari rail line, All India Institute of Medical Science, hike in rubber subsidy, raising of the ceiling on borrowing and rehabilitation of returning expatriates.
“The budget proposals to extend more tax sops for the corporate sector, the absence of projects to improve agricultural production, the move to sell off the government holding in the LIC and persist with globalisation policies despite setbacks are a pointer to the BJP government’s intentions,” he said.
Left Democratic Front (LDF) convener A.Vijayaraghavan said that by sidelining Kerala in the budget, the Centre had declared war on the State.
CPI(M) State secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said no other government at the Centre had shown this level of injustice to the State