Kerala Finance Minister alleges conspiracy against state, says additions to CAG report done by Centre

ANI
·2-min read
Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac speaking at a press conference on Tuesday.
Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac speaking at a press conference on Tuesday.

Alappuzha (Kerala) [India], November 17 (ANI): Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac has levelled serious allegation of a big conspiracy against the development policies of Kerala stating that four pages of the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) report was added from Centre to stall development in the state.

"The four-pages in the C&AG report, which argued that the loan should not be allowed was added from Delhi. This is no small game. It is a huge conspiracy to cut off Kerala. It is a matter of development of Kerala. Kerala should see it that way. All political parties should unite to fight this," said Issac.

Both BJP and Congress have demanded Issac's resignation on allegation that he had violated oath of secrecy by disclosing contents of a final C&AG report before it was tabled in Kerala Assembly.

"The central issue under discussion today in relation to Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB). Not whether the CAG report is final or draft. Last but not least, how will it affect the development of Kerala if the arguments stated in it are implemented?

"The question is whether the UDF agrees with those conclusions of the CAG. This is the question that has been asked from the beginning. The UDF is yet to respond to this. To cover this up, the smokescreen is created using issues such as "final", "draft", "whether or not there is corruption in KIIFB"," he alleged in a press meet.

Further the Kerala Finance Minister argued that KIFB loans are not a direct liability to the state government.

"KIIFB is just an extension of the annuity infrastructure investment model we are familiar with. The Thiruvananthapuram City Road Improvement Program is a good example of an annuity investment model. The work is tendered and the work is confirmed and the work is handed over to an agency. The government pays the work under the tender in installments over a period of ten to twenty years. The tender is called by the contractor after calculating the interest for this period. This is the annuity method. KIIFB is undertaking a series of projects for the development of the infrastructure sector. The money needed for that is raised from the market. The refund of this money will be paid by the State Government to KIIFB every year as a fixed tax contribution," he said.

Further he said, "This is why KIIFB is said to be an extension of the annuity method. The difference with KIIFB is that the annuity government tax revenue provided by the government will continue to rise at an increasing rate. No one calls the annuity scheme an off-budget loan, a direct liability or an unconstitutional one." (ANI)