Kerala should oppose GST as it affects the freedom of states to levy taxes and is against the federal nature of our Constitution, said eminent economist and former vice-chairman of the state planning board Prabhat Patnaik
Inaugurating the development seminar organized by the Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishad at the Vivekodayam High School here on Sunday, he said that Goods and Services Tax might seem beneficial to the states in the beginning but in reality it would be an intervention into the freedom of the states.
Criticising the demonetisation measures implemented by the central government on same grounds of not considering the constitutional norms of a federal structure, he added that the LDF government in Kerala should react strong against the move.
Asserting the need for establishing a Kerala Bank to fund the development of the state, he also pointed out that attack on cooperative sector by the central government through demonetisation should be dealt with by coming out with more steps to preserve the sector. Patnaik also urged the government to focus on the issues of the landless population in the state as a majority of them belong to tribal communities.
“The plantations keep a large chunk of lands with them. A legislation to take back the surplus land, after allowing a proportion of land to be retained against the number of employees in plantations, should be brought out,” he said.
Lalitha Lenin, P Parameswaran, T P Kunjikannan, K P Aravindhan and Michael Tharakan were among those who took part in the discussions on four major topics — education, environment, decentralized planning and health.