The new 1 per cent flood cess as part of Kerala’s rebuilding exercise will be introduced from this coming fiscal. In his budget speech, Finance Minister Thomas Isaac announced the introduction of the cess which had got Central clearance and was also played by the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Counci.
The new cess will be in force for two years. As part of garnering funds for rebuilding Kerala, the one per cent cess would be on products that fall in the highest slab of GST. It would not be applicable on products that come in the 5 per cent slab and those below that. Small scale industry products have been exempted from the cess.
Though this would see a marginal rise in price of goods, it would be mainly on luxury items, electronic products, precious metals like gold, silver and platinum. The cess would not be applicable for essential ones. This will help the State tide over a fund-crunch since the economy has been hit hard after the devastating August 2018 flood.