Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan said in the state assembly on Thursday that there is no possibility to levy luxury tax on extravagant weddings.
The chief minister was replying to CPI MLA Mullakkara Ratnakaranâ€™s demand of imposing tax on luxury weddings.
Mullakkara pointed out a recent incident where a couple travelled in a JCB as part of their wedding celebrations and caused a huge traffic block.
The CM said the only way to check such weddings was to generate awareness. Pinarayi also agreed that luxury weddings have a lot of socio- economic implications and extravaganza by the rich people badly affects the poor who struggle without money to conduct weddings.
He said that levying tax for such weddings was not possible as the `Mangalyanidhi', a cess on luxury weddings, which was pitched in the 2013-14 budget speech, was declared unconstitutional by the high court.
He also pointed out that the central government has now taken away the state's power to levy luxury tax.
Pinarayi also recalled in the Assembly that he and his wife Kamala had once walked out of a wedding conducted in Thrissur, as he could not tolerate the luxurious wedding and the instructions given by the event management company.
Vijayan also reminded the MLA that one can judge the type of wedding only after attending it and there can be a practical difficulty in imposing cess.
When Mullakkara pointed out that weddings should be conducted in the way that Soorya Krishnamurthy, renowned cultural activist and philanthropist, conducted his daughterâ€™s wedding (which was very simple and without any celebrations), CM told him to look at his own party leader Binoy Viswam (CPI) instead, who showed the way. Binoy Viswom's daughter had a registered marriage and no function was held.