In its revised Budget for 2016-17, the Kerala government on Friday introduced a "fat tax" on unhealthy food such as pizzas and burgers in an attempt to dissuade people from eating foods linked to poor health and obesity, reported Business Standard. With a 14.5% cess on such items, fast food chains such as Mcdonald's, Pizza Hut and Dominos, among others, are expected to be worst hit. Denmark and Hungary implemented a similar tax in the past, though Denmark later scrapped it.
Trangender rightsThe government also announced a pension for transgender people above the age of 60 and special educational aid for transgender students while presenting the 2016-17 Budget on Friday. Finance Minister Thomas Isaac, however, did not specify the actual amount that will be disbursed.
According to a survey, the state has a transgender population of at least 25,000. Last year, Kerala had become the first state to come up with a Transgender Policy that aimed at ending the widespread stigma the community faces. Earlier this month, Kochi Metro Rail Limited had announced that it would recruit transgender people in its housekeeping, crowd management and customer relations departments.
While presenting the Budget, Finance Minister TM Thomas Isaac also announced that the newly elected Left Democratic Front plans to raise Rs 805 crore by imposing tax on packaged food items. Among other things, packaged wheat products, packaged basmati rice and coconut oil will be more expensive after the imposition of the planned 5% tax. The state has also decided to levy a 2% tax on textiles and 20% tax on disposable plasticware to raise the proposed funds, according to The Hindu.