THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Finance Minister Thomas Isaac said on Wednesday the government would constitute enforcement squads incorporating IRS officers to conduct inspections as there is a major dip in tax collection from the sale of gold.
He was replying to discussions on the demands for grants in the legislative assembly on Wednesday.
Isaac said the tax collection from gold has dipped drastically and there are doubts of suppression of data regarding the revenue. He said during the VAT regime, the tax collected was Rs 630 crore and this has plummeted to Rs 272 crore after the implementation of GST. There is no possibility of such a major reduction in revenue from tax collection, he said. Squads will be constituted to monitor the situation and raids will be conducted to have clear data on stock and sale.
Cameras will be installed at all check posts and tenders will be called for the same. Undervaluation regarding the goods brought to the state would be strictly monitored to prevent loss of tax revenue. He added the government expects a hike in GST collection through these methods. The minister also said the government has so far provided monetary aid to around 15 lakh flood victims from the Chief Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund (CMDRF) and added those who have not got the aid can appeal before the authorities concerned.
Isaac said the remaining amount in the CMDRF would be used mainly for developing and maintaining village roads. The Alappuzha-Changanassery road, as well as the Wayanad tunnel road, would be developed using this fund. The money raised through flood cess would also be used for the above-mentioned purpose. The 1% flood cess is allowed for the state owing to the natural disaster last year and this is a deviation from the ‘One nation, one tax’ concept which has been in force since GST.
Minister announces probe into moratorium fiasco
T’Puram: Agriculture Minister VS Sunilkumar informed the Assembly on Wednesday that an officer in the rank of additional chief secretary has been entrusted to conduct an inquiry in the moratorium issue. According to the Minister, the officer will inquire if a ‘deliberate flaw’ had occurred from the part of the Revenue Department in issuing an order related to moratorium before the model code of conduct came into effect. The state government’s failure to issue an order extending the moratorium on all loans taken by the farmers till December 31 before the MCC came into force had put the ruling party in a spot during election time.
15 farmer suicides
Agriculture Minister VS Sunilkumar informed the Assembly on Wednesday that 15 farmers had committed suicide since the government came into power. According to the Minister, from January 1 till date, as, many as 12 farmers committed suicide and of this 10 were from Idukki district. Meanwhile, the Minister also said the suicides don’t fall under the category of farmer suicides. “It’s out of fear of recovery proceedings against non-farming loans that the farmers committed suicide. Also, it has been noted that post-floods farmers committed suicide,” he said.