Kerala Governor gives nod to table liquor bill

File photo: Manorama

Thiruvananthapuram: Governor Arif Mohammed Khan has given the nod to table a bill, which aims at increasing the sale tax on foreign liquor by 4 per cent, in the Assembly.

The Kerala General Sales Tax (Amendment) Bill was sent to Raj Bhavan on Saturday. It received the Governor's approval to be tabled in the assembly only Monday evening.

The Bill is to be tabled by Finance Minister K N Balagopal.

In October, the Governor had announced he has 'withdrawn his pleasure' in Finance Minister K N Balagopal for "violating his oath of office and undermining the unity and integrity of India". Subsequently, it was not sure whether the Governor would allow the presentation of any bill by Balagopal. As the aforementioned amendment bill is related to tax, it requires the Governor’s approval before presenting it in the Assembly.

As is well known Khan was riled over the minister's comment that those from Uttar Pradesh would not be able to understand the educational institutions in Kerala. The minister said this in the context of the Supreme Court verdict annulling the vice chancellor's appointment in the A P J Abdul Kalam Technological University, and the Governor's suggestion that appointments in other universities were equally void. As the Governor hailed from the north India state, the minister's mention of UP was apparently a dig at him.

Summons to VCs

Meanwhile, the Governor is yet to decide on a request by the Vice-Chancellors of Mahatma Gandhi University and Sanskrit University seeking a change in the hearing date allotted to them. The Governor has summoned all Vice Chancellors to the Raj Bhavan on December 12 for a hearing.

The MG University VC had sought to change the hearing date to a day in January citing inconvenience. Sanskrit University VC also had cited inconvenience to reaching Raj Bhavan on the said date. The Governor would decide on the same only after seeking legal opinion.

Chances are also that the Governor may allow those who cannot make it to join the hearing session through online video conferencing. 


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