A major shift in the policy on superannuation of State government employees and teachers will take effect on Monday with the Budget proposal for pegging the retirement age at 60 years for new recruits coming into force.

The new policy, announced by Finance Minister K.M. Mani in his Budget speech, is crafted to align the State services with the National Pension Scheme, which is contributory. The retirement age of employees already in service would continue to be 56 years. The Finance Minister had taken the State by surprise with his decision, but was able to pull it off with the assurance that the new policy would not affect youth waiting for jobs.

Monday would also see the new revenue generation measures and concessions announced by the Finance Minister taking effect. One of the major concessions is the 2 per cent cut in stamp duty and the additional impost to check speculative purchase and sale within a short window of time. From now on, land and apartments sold by the Kerala State Housing Board will involve only 50 per cent of the stamp duty levied so far.

The day will see the price of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) other than beer and wine go up by 5 per cent. Price of cigarettes and other tobacco products will also shoot up with a 5 per cent increase in the tax on cigarettes and similar products. The Finance Minister’s decision to go in for a 1 per cent increase in the tax on white goods would mean a jump in the prices of several items.

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