Millennium Post

Kerala hikes fair value of land, motor vehicle tax; enhances welfare pension

Thiruvananthapuram: Battling severe financial crisis, the Left government in Kerala on Friday raised the fair value of land and motor vehicle tax to mobilise an additional resource of Rs 1,103 crore, even as it raised all welfare pensions and allocated enhanced share for pro-women schemes.

A total of 2.5 lakh new water connections, 1000 cost-effective food courts providing meals at Rs 25, one lakh new houses/flats for homeless people by 2020-21 and 'she-lodge' enterprises in all cities were among the popular announcements in the budget, presented with an introduction of the state's cash-strapped condition.

Presenting his fifth budget for the 2020-21 fiscal, state Finance minister T M Thomas Isaac announced Rs 2,000 crore and Rs 1,000 crore worth special packages for flood-hit high ranges-- Wayanad and Idukki-- respectively.

The minister set aside Rs 1,000 crore for coastal area development and Rs 2,400 crore for the second Kuttanad package, eyeing the development of the 'rice bowl' of the southern state.

"The tax rate of motorcycles, not exceeding value up to Rs 2 lakh, will be increased by 1 per cent and that of motor cars and private service vehicles for personal use, not exceeding value of Rs 15 lakh, will be increased by 2 per cent," the minister said detailing the motor vehicle tax hike.

A total of Rs 200 crore additional revenue was expected through this measure, Isaac said. Another Rs 250 crore was planned to be mobilised by making an increase of 10 per cent in the existing fair value of land and hiking the fair value of notified land near large-scale projects at a maximum of 30 per cent.

The annual luxury building tax, levied on residential buildings, was revised under four slabs, expecting an additional revenue of Rs 16 crore.

By imposing a fee of Rs 200 for issuing location map and Rs 100 for issuing Record of Right (thandaper) by village offices, an additional revenue of Rs 100 crore is expected, the minister said.

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