THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday demanded that the Union government review the decision to impose tax on essential items, and requested the Centre to continue the GST compensation for the revenue loss to the states for another five years.
He also sought lifting of the stringent restrictions imposed on borrowing limits of states considering the pandemic-induced adverse impact on the economy.
Addressing the seventh Governing Council Meeting of NITI Aayog in New Delhi, Pinarayi also reminded the Union government of the need to address challenges to cooperative federalism, and demanded that legislation on subjects in the Concurrent List be initiated only after adequate consultation with the states. The Centre should also desist from legislation on the items that come in the State List, he added.
The CM also sought the Centre’s support in early clearance of the state’s pending rail and air traffic proposals. He stressed that the new transport projects are eco-friendly and cause less accidents.
As part of modernising state’s roads and transportation, a time-bound completion of all projects, including National Highways development, need to be accelerated, he said in the meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
CM seeks more central aid for housing projects
Pinarayi sought urgent intervention of the Centre to enhance necessary legal remedies in the wake of the recent Supreme Court judgement on ecosensitive zones. He informed the council that Kerala is in the forefront in decentralisation initiatives where all the functions in the 11th and 12th Schedules of the Constitution have been devolved to the local self - governments.
He requested that this important achievement need to be addressed while distributing the consolidated funds to states. Citing the rising cost of building materials, Pinarayi called for increased central assistance for housing projects under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. The CM demanded that the kerosone allotment be reinstated to help fishermen. He also sought the Centre’s support in dealing with soil erosion and in revitalising cash crops.