17 Aug 2018
#KeralaFloods: Excise-duty on liquor increased to collect revenue for relief
Kerala is experiencing its worst floods and the state has decided to increase excise duty on liquor to collect revenue for flood relief.
State Finance Minister Thomas Issac on Thursday said they are facing a financial crunch, and excise on liquor will be increased from 0.5 to 3.5 per cent for 100 days.
Till now, 114 people have lost their lives due to floods.
Kerala has lost Rs. 8,000 crore in floods
The MeT department predicted a heavy rainfall till Saturday. While situation improved a bit in Kozhikode, central Kerala continues to be ravaged.
Water has entered houses, destroyed roads, and disrupted rail and air traffic.
It is estimated that Kerala lost Rs. 8,000 crore in the floods. But increasing excise duty on liquor can get the state Rs. 230 crore, Thomas Issac said.
Popular tourist destinations have been submerged in water
Out of 14 districts, 13 are on red alert, the only exception being Kasaragode. Kochi, the state's commercial capital, has been cut off from rest. Destinations like Munnar and Ponmudi are also isolated after landslides disrupted roads.
People have been advised against visiting Sabarimala hill shrine as water levels in Pampa river are high.
Landslides in Idukki, Malappuram and Kannur have worsened the situation.
Army personnel rescue people
The armed forces rescued people stuck on rooftops and hills whilst battling severe weather conditions.
CM Pinarayi Vijayayan said the condition is intense and has asked help from Centre. He promised more helicopters will be deployed soon.
Do your bit
Kerala needs you: Here's how you can help
Reportedly, more than one lakh people are living in relief camps. As the southern state has been brought to a standstill, you can do your bit for it too.
You can send money through banks. The Beneficiary's Name is Principal Secretary (Fin), Treasurer CMDRF, SBI. The account number is 67319948232 and IFSC Code is SBIN0070028.
Or, you may use Paytm, PhonePe, Tez etc.