Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 29 (IANS) Extravagance, corruption and poor resource mobilisation have left Kerala’s finances in a shambles, the Congress-led opposition said on Friday.
Addressing the media here, Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala blamed the poor financial management of economist turned State Finance Minister Thomas Issac for the present situation, adding that “even Rs 750 telephone bill was not being cleared from the treasury.”
“This November, the government treasury was able to sanction just two bills and it included the salaries and pension besides the clearing of a bill of the ongoing ‘pleasure trip’ of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and a 12-member high level delegation to Japan and South Korea. The contractors outstanding as on date is in excess of Rs 1,470 crores, for the work they have done,” said Chennithala.
“Issac says that the centre is yet to release Rs 1,600 crores by way of the state’s share in GST, but he is silent on the around Rs 13,000 crores of outstanding taxes that have to be collected. May be he is not keen on collecting the outstandings and this is tantamount to corruption, said the Leader of Opposition.
Chennithala alleged that the only thing happening in Kerala is the state government spending borrowed money and is unable to raise any resources.
“And whatever is raised through loans and borrowings is being blown up for appointing people close to this government in key positions and this trip by Vijayan itself was a needless one. What should have been done by a secretary is being done by the Chief Minister in Japan. The most hilarious thing came yesterday when it was said that he signed an expression of interest with Toshiba. Incidentally it was signed by the officials of Toshiba India and not by the Japanese officials. He could have done it in Delhi,” said Chennithala.
“All what they claim to have brought are projects that were there during the previous government’s time. The local self government institutions are also reeling under fund shortage as only 30.21 per cent of the Plan money has been spent during the present financial year,” he added and pointed out that the Congress-led opposition is bringing out an alternate white paper next week, which will reveal the complete financial position of Kerala.