THIRUVANANTHAPURAM (TIP): The CPM-led LDF government in Kerala on Friday presented its budget for 2016-17, focusing on strengthening social welfare schemes, public health and education.
The budget, the first by the Pinarayi Vijayan-led government which came to power in the May assembly polls, proposed a slew of new tax proposals including a ‘fat tax’ of 14.5 per cent for burgers, pizzas and pastas served in branded restaurants. The budget has also proposed five per cent tax on certain packed foods.
Stating that the state was passing through a severe financial crisis due to various factors, the budget proposed an ‘anti-slowdown package’ of Rs 12,000 crore for taking up various development and infrastructure projects like roads, bridges and IT parks. The budget, presented by state finance minister TM Thomas Isaac, also said steps would be taken to increase the tax revenue by 25 per cent per annum by various measures including elimination of corruption and implementation of trader-friendly measures.