Kerala Budget Headlines: Hike in Liquor Prices and Court Fees to Boost Revenue
Kerala Budget Headlines: Hike in Liquor Prices and Court Fees to Boost Revenue

The Kerala government, led by the CPI(M), has announced increases in liquor prices and judicial court fees to bolster funds for development projects. In the latest budget unveiled on Monday, Finance Minister K N Balagopal revealed the adjustments aimed at generating additional revenue.

Excise duty on Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL) will see a hike of Rs 10 per litre, aiming to raise Rs 200 crore. Balagopal emphasized the necessity of these measures to support developmental initiatives.

Additionally, court fees and electricity duty for self-generated power consumption will witness increments in the fiscal year 2024-25. The finance minister clarified that these adjustments align with existing legal frameworks.

Balagopal mentioned amendments to The Kerala Court Fees and Suits Valuation Act, 1959 to explore avenues for further revenue generation, projecting an additional Rs 50 crore income through these measures.

While social welfare pensions remain unchanged, Balagopal assured timely disbursements next year. Notably, allocations of Rs 1,698.30 crore were designated for the agricultural sector, including a raise in the minimum support price for rubber.

Efforts towards poverty eradication received Rs 50 crore, with an additional Rs 134.42 crore allocated to the cooperative sector.

Despite economic challenges and alleged financial constraints imposed by the Centre, Balagopal reaffirmed the government's commitment to development. He outlined ambitious plans, including attracting investments worth Rs three lakh crore over three years and directing substantial funds towards agriculture and tourism.

Balagopal emphasized the importance of advancing infrastructure, including high-speed rail systems, for the state's future growth. Discussions with the Central government regarding the K-Rail project are underway.

To facilitate major projects such as Vizhinjam Port, Cochin Metro, and Kannur Airport, Rs 300.73 crore has been allocated.

The minister criticized the Centre's economic policies and purported negligence towards Kerala, attributing the state's financial challenges to these factors.

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