Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday asked MPs to take up general issues of the state unitedly in Parliament in the coming budget session. Addressing a meeting of MPs from state here, he brought to their notice the fall in revenue and the ‘hardships’ faced by people due to demonetisation and asked them to highlight these issues in Parliament. Finance Minister T M Thomas Issac said that in connection with GST taxes, Kerala had asked the Centre to keep traders whose turnover was Rs 1.50 crore within the preview of the state.
“When the issue comes up for discussion, MPs should argue for the state’s demand’, Issac said. Minister for Cooperation Kadakampally Surendran said the cooperative sector was facing a serious crisis due to the restriction on primary cooperatives to withdraw only Rs 24,000 per week from District Cooperative Banks.
Primary cooperative societies were finding it difficult to extend agriculture loans in cash, he said, adding that efforts should be made to lift this restriction. Education Minister C Raveendranath said a proposal with a total estimate of Rs 886 crore for renovating Fine Arts Colleges at Thiruvananthapuram and Mavellikara was pending before the Centre. MPs should intervene for getting sanction for the proposal, he added.
Minister for food and Civil Supplies P Thilothaman pointed out the need to increase the quantity of food articles provided through Public Distribution System. He alleged that the state was getting less quantity of ration articles under National Food Security Act than it was receiving previously.