Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), on February 9, intensified its anti-tax hike agitation throughout the State. Party workers took to the street to protest against the heavy tax-cess regime and anti-people actions of the CPM-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) Government with Pinarayi Vijayan as the Chief Minister.
Hundreds of party workers, including women, have been arrested. Water cannon was used against the agitators in Kottayam, Kochi and Kozhikode. Several workers are badly injured.
Police excesses are reported from Pathanamthitta and Palakkad districts. BJP State President K Surendran told the media that party would go ahead with strong agitation against Rs 2 per litre hike for diesel and petrol and a hike in water cess, and several other tax increases which make the peoples’ life worse. He did not reject the proposal of even a State hartal.
BJP maintain that the hike in taxes should be observed against the backdrop of the poor tax collection in the State. Reports suggest that, according to CAG reports, a huge tax amount of Rs 7,100 crores remain uncollected during the last five years. The arrears come under twelve government departments. Sill government and Finance Minister talk about the lack of funds for government expenditure hence the tax hike. The report also points out Rs 11 crores tax loss due to wrong tax policies.