Minister for Municipalities and Corporations Manjalamkuzhi Ali has said the State government is not averse to extending tax concessions to biogas plants and pipe compost manufacturers as part of its waste management initiatives.
Picking up from some constructive suggestions made by former Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac in the Assembly during the course of the debate on the Kerala Municipality (Amendment) Bill, Mr. Ali said on Tuesday that he proposed to take up the tax concession proposal with the Chief Minister and Finance Minister.
Dr. Isaac had proposed demand and supply side intervention through subsidies while participating in the debate on the Bill.
The Bill seeks to replace an ordinance making it mandatory for trade centres, hospitals, markets, slaughter houses, chicken stalls, marriage halls, flats, and houses having more than three storeys, to segregate waste at source in the prescribed manner.
Dr. Isaac had said the State government should extend subsidy on the demand side, utilising the proposed Waste Disposal Fund to provide assistance to entrepreneurs who came up with alternative products or substitutes for plastics. He wanted the State government to provide matching grant to the proposed fund.
On the supply side, the State government should be prepared to forego the 5 per cent VAT on biogas plants and pipe compost. This would enable the manufacturers to bring down the cost of setting up biogas plants and pipe composts to realistic levels and at the rates prescribed by the State government. He also wanted the State government to promote organic methods of waste management along with a Centralised system.
Congress MLA C.P. Mohammed, and CPI (M) member Sreeramakrishnan participated in the debate. The former wanted the government to bring residential premises under the purview of the proposed amendment on the sq.ft. basis, while the latter wanted the government to come forward with a comprehensive package for waste management.
Mr. Ali said the government had identified 100 service providers whose services would be used for waste management.
The House witnessed some constructive debate on the issue for over two hours, before unanimously referring it to the Subject Committee.