Alappuzha: Businesspersons having a turnover of less than Rs 1.50 crore and paying the presumptive tax will be exempted from the additional one per cent flood cess on GST, according to Finance Minister Thomas Isaac. "The cess will not lead to high inflation," he said.
In an exclusive interview to Manorama News, Isaac also revealed that the state government would announce a Rs 1,000-crore comprehensive health insurance scheme in the upcoming budget.
"There is no need to worry that the cess, which is aimed at finding the resources for rebuilding Kerala after the floods, would lead to rise in prices," said the minister.
"As traders having a turnover of up to Rs 1.50 crore pay a presumptive tax of one per cent, they need not pay the cess. There are around 40,000 businesspersons who pay this tax," he informed.
Isaac also said that after the GST (Goods and Services Tax) returns are filed, traders who evaded taxes would be traced and action initiated against them. "The Government believes that an amount of Rs 3,000 crore could be mobilized this way," he added.
"A one-time settlement of VAT arrears would be done by reducing the fine. However, the tax rates will not be changed," he told the channel.
The Government targets an additional revenue of Rs 6,000 crore in the budget. "Cost-saving measures announced in the last budget did not work out as planned," admitted the minister.
The framework of the health insurance scheme would be part of the budget, he said.
Other plans include constructing a four-lane road along the hilly areas of the state in connection with the Vizhinjam project. This path is to be converted into a growth corridor with industrial units on both sides.
"An amount of Rs 10,000 crore will be spent for infrastructure development sourcing the funds from KIIFB," said Isaac.
In another major announcement, the Finance Minister said that the retirement age will not be raised during the tenure of the present government.