Thiruvananthapuram: Slamming the Congress-led UDF Government for steep hike in taxes and service fees, CPI(M) in Kerala on Thursday threatened to unleash a massive agitation and urged the people to desist from paying the increase including the new rates of water charges.
Accusing the Oommen Chandy Government of "resorting to undemocratic" means to raise additional resources, CPI(M) state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan said the present crisis was the result of the gross mismanagement of public finances by the UDF ministry.
Vijayan also hit out at the government for taking the "ordinance route" to raise a huge amount without presenting and debating the proposals in the assembly.
"People are being penalised for the Government's extravaganza and mismanagement. It is quite undemocratic that this has been done through an ordinance by side-stepping the legislature," Vijayan told reporters here.
By doing this, the government had misused a provision to be used in emergency situations like war or famine, he said.
He said the measures announced by the Chief Minister yesterday would cast an additional burden of over Rs 4000 crore on the people. Added to this, the proposals under consideration, this would cross Rs 7000 crores. This was for the first time that such a huge tax burden being cast on the public outside the annual budget, he said.
He said the details of the agitation would be worked out collectively by the LDF. People would be appealed to desist from paying the increase in water charges and fee for various government services, he said.
Faced with a grim funds crunch arising mainly from its policy of sharply cutting down on the liquor business, the Government had steeply increased taxes on liquor, cigarettes, water charges and fees for various services to mop up about Rs 2000 crore.