THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: “Each individual in Kerala - man, woman and child - owes Rs 40,575. That’s the per capita debt of the state, with the state’s public debt standing at a stunning Rs 1,35,114.95 crore, as on May 31, 2015. This is based on the preliminary figures furnished by the Accountant General,” Finance Minister K M Mani informed the Assembly on Thursday.
Public debt had stood at Rs 78673.24 crore on March 31, 2011.
Revenue had jumped from Rs 18186.62 crore in 2006-07 to Rs 57936.83 crore in 2014-15. The grant-in-aid from the Centre during that period had gone up from Rs 2,095.19 crore to Rs 7,508 crore, Mani said.
The UDF government, after coming to power in May 2011, had borrowed a total of Rs 50,163 crore in 58 instalments from the market, Mani said.
However, the state was not in a financial crisis, he said, adding that ‘financial constraints’ existed owing to the huge basic expenditures and the non-increase in tax revenue.
The government had adopted various measures for resource mobilisation, including hiking the tax on Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL), beer and wine and cigarettes, he said. The tax on all IMFL had been raised by 20 per cent.
The tax on beer and wine was hiked from 50 per cent to 70 per cent, and that on cigarettes from 22 to 30 per cent. Steps were also taken to re-determine the fair price of land and hike land tax and and tax on plantations.
As part of increasing non-tax revenue, user charges and fees in various government departments, other than Health and Education, also were hiked.
Additionally, the Finance Department had also launched intensive measures to recover tax arrears, the Finance Minister said.
Projects to Light up Rural Areas
T’Puram: The KSEB has submitted a detailed project proposal to the Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) for implementing works to the tune of Rs 1,720 crore under the DDUGJY, Power Minister Aryadan Mohammed told the Assembly. DDUGJY aims at electrification of rural areas. Uninterrupted power supply aside, it targets BPL connections, reduction of technical and commercial loss in transmission and distribution, establishment of 66, 33 and 11 kV and LT lines and transformers and replacement of faulty meters.