The State Government is planning to cut the sales tax on petro products in the light of the recent hike in the petrol price.
The sales tax on petro products in Karnataka is one of the highest in the country, and unlike West Bengal or Kerala, Karnataka has not reduced the local taxes.
There have been 11 increases in the price of petro products in 11 months, and two since D.V. Sadananda Gowda took charge as Chief Minister.
Speaking to presspersons here on Saturday, the Chief Minister said: “we are looking at ways of reducing the burden on the people. Discussions will be held with senior officials of the Finance Department and an announcement will be made in three days. The frequent increase in the price of petro products has made the lives of people miserable, particularly the middle class and the poor. The Union Government should roll back the latest increase in the petrol price”.
On the appointment of Lokayukta, Mr. Gowda said: “the ball is now in Governor H.R. Bhardwaj's court. On receipt of communication from the Raj Bhavan, the Government will take the next step. I met the Governor two days ago”.
The Governor, as it transpires, conveyed to the Chief Minister that the Government should suggest the name of a person whose record is blemishless and that the recommendation for appointment of the former Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court, S.R. Bannurmath as the Lokayukta, is not acceptable to him. The Chief Minister, however, told the Governor that under the present circumstances the Government was finding it difficult to identify a retired Chief Justice willing to be the Lokayukta.
On the financial position of the State in the light of the charges of bankruptcy made by the Opposition leaders, Mr. Gowda said: “the financial position of the State is very sound, and revenue collection in the last seven months in four key sectors has registered a 22 per cent increase. The charge of the Opposition is baseless. The revenue from commercial taxes has increased by 24 per cent, State excise by 16 per cent, Stamps and Registration by 32 per cent and motor vehicle tax by 7 per cent. The total tax mobilisation in the first seven months is Rs. 25,137 crore compared to Rs. 20,648 during the corresponding period last year.
He said a 10-day session of the legislature will be held from December 5, and if need be it would be extended by a few days. Preparations are also in full swing for the first ever Global Agri Investors meet slated for December 1 and roadshows to promote the event will be held in New Delhi on November 8 and in Mumbai on November 15.