Finance Minister K. M. Mani announced cess on luxury cars costing more than Rs. 20 lakh and buildings with floor area of more than 4000 square feet in his revised Budget for the current year presented to the Assembly on Friday.

For cars, the cess will be two per cent of the tax on the motor vehicles. In the case of buildings, the cess will be an additional two per cent over building tax.

The tax on pan parag and other tobacco products used for chewing will be increased to 20 per cent, netting Rs. 5 crore for the exchequer this year. Similarly, the existing social security cess on foreign liquor will be increased from one per cent to six per cent. Total revenue of Rs. 135 crore is expected from the hike in cess. The measures are intended to check the use of tobacco products and liquor, the Finance Minister said in his Budget speech.

Mr. Mani also announced withdrawal of five per cent concession on surcharge on foreign liquor granted to State Beverages Corporation in view of its losses in 2004. The Corporation was now running in profit and will have to pay the earlier rate of ten per cent. The revenue from this will be Rs. 192 crore this year.

He also announced formation of a tax monitoring cell as well as a price monitoring bureau in the Finance Department. The cell will advice the government on resource mobilisation and preparations for implementation the goods and services tax and changes needed in tax laws. The bureau will develop a data base on prices. A call centre and website will be set up to handle complaints to the Finance Minister.

The Budget envisages a total additional resource mobilisation of Rs. 615.75 crore and additional expenditure of Rs. 982.73 crore. The cumulative deficit at the end of the year will be Rs. 350.27 crore.

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