Kerala government to accept demonetized banknotes for tax payments

Monday, Nov 21, 2016,12:39 IST By metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | The Kerala government has decided to accept demonetized Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes for payment of various taxes, Finance Minister Thomas Isaac said Sunday.

The demonetized currency notes would be accepted for paying tax arrears too, the minister said, adding that the decision was taken after discussion with Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday GST Council meet.

“Various state taxes including vehicle tax, registration tax, electricity bills, water tax can be paid using the old currency notes till November 24 and the order regarding this will be issued tomorrow,” Isaac said.

The minister also said the people can use the demonetized notes to recharge season tickets of Kerala State Road Transport Corporation. The state government has also demanded the Centre allot a grant or a loan to compensate the losses suffered by the state due to demonetization.

“The Union Finance Minister has agreed to consider our demand. We had set aside enough to pay the next month’s salary but if the Centre does not cooperate, then it will affect the Christmas celebrations,” Isaac said.

The state government has also decided to appoint a panel to study long-term and short-term impacts of the demonetization move in the state.”The Centre’s decisions to withdraw the banknotes have seriously affected the income of the state. VAT collection and vehicle registration have been badly hit,” he added.

Mental depression high among Keralites: Survey

Thiruvananthapuram | Around nine per cent of Keralites, belonging to different age groups, are suffering from mental depression, according to a recent survey.

Besides depression, other mental issues including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and alcohol-related mental disease, were also prevalent among state people, the survey conducted by the Kerala State Mental Health Authority and National Health Mission said. It also found that one in every eight persons, that is 12.43 per cent of people covered under the survey, required psychiatric intervention.

Released by state Health Minister K K Shylaja on Sunday, the survey was conducted in selected panachayts and municipalities of five districts – Kollam, Idukki, Palakkad, Wayanad and Kasaragod.

According to the survey, the most common mental disorder, found among those surveyed, was depression. While around nine per cent people were suffering from depression, 0.29 per cent had schizophrenia problems and 0.27 had bipolar disorder, it said.

As many as 1.46 per cent people, covered under the survey, were suffering from alcohol-related mental illness, it said. The survey also found that 75 per cent people were getting treatment for the mental health issues while 25 per cent were yet to get proper treatment.

After releasing the survey, Shylaja said the survey would be conducted in remaining districts also soon.