THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The pre-budget session of the Kerala Assembly will be convened on December 1. A special cabinet meeting on Saturday decided to recommend to the Governor to hold the Assembly session from December 1 to 18. The session is expected to witness detailed discussions on recent tax increases including water tariff hike. The new liquor policy of the government and the 20 per cent hike in liquor prices, increase in registration charges and stamp duty, tobacco price increase and other other tax hikes are expected to figure in the discussions. The short session is primarily aimed at clearing the recent ordinances issued by the government. A decision on the Bills to be presented in the coming session would be taken by the Business Advisory Committee of the Assembly.
On Thursday, the Governor had promulgated four ordinances - Kerala Municipalities (Amendment) Ordinance 2014, Kerala Maritime Board Ordinance 2014, Kerala Stamp (Amendment) Ordinance 2014 and Kerala Motor Vehicle Taxation (Amendments) Ordinance 2014. A few others including the ordinance on appointment of non-teaching staff in the university, KAPA amendment ordinance and another on fixing the age limit for Pravasi welfare scheme are also under the consideration of the Governor. Recently, there were reports on delay in according sanction to ordinances sent by the government. However, the Chief Minister’s office had denied these reports.
The session is expected to be stormy in in the wake of the bribery allegations against Finance Minister K M Mani. Being the pre-budget session, the attempt would be to settle the ongoing issues and set the ground for the budget session to be held by beginning of next year.