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Saturday, October 31, 2020

‘Never before in history, Kerala passing through crisis’

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Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac on Thursday said the state is passing through the worst ever crisis period as far as the finances are concerned.

He also answered the criticism of the Congress led UDF on various issues.

Issac said that in the past revenues falling by 10 to 20 per cent in a budget year is natural.

“The situation today is such that the revenues estimated in the budget has fallen as high as 50 per cent and hence the finances are precariously placed. People do not have cash flow . We cannot cut expenses in the health and basic infrastructure and it will continue by cutting down on other things,” said Issac.

On the way out , Issac said he expects the Centre to sanction the nearly Rs 6,000 crore which they ought to give.

“Even though the borrowing powers of the state government has been increased, it has come with lots of conditions and we are in the process of fulfilling all those conditions,” added Issac.

On the widespread criticism of the Congress, that at present what prevails in the state is aConsultancy Raj’ , Issac brushed aside that and said wherever necessary consultants will have to be appointed and thata¿s just what is happening.

” Any World Bank assistance will have to go through a consultancy. In the present K-Phone project , it was the Congress led UDF which appointed the consultant and when we assumed office in 2016 May, we were given the opened tenders and we gave it to the lowest quote,” said Issac.

On the latest controversy over appointing a consultant without even acquiring land for the proposed Sabarimala airport, Issac laughed and said what happens first is a feasibility study and then only one looks for the land and that has only happened.

” Do you know why the Congress is worried. Now we are in the last year of this government and had it not been for Covid, numerous projects worth Rs 15,000 crore in the education and health sectors would have been inaugurated and this is what the Congress is deeply worried ,” said Issac.

Touching upon the allegations of backdoor appointments being made, Issac said during the Congress led UDF government, time they had made 30,000 temporary appointments.

” We have done only 12,000 temporary appointments and what must not be forgotten is we have appointed 20,000 people in permanent posts,” said Issac.

Brushing aside the appointment of now arrested Swapna Suresh (gold smuggling case) in a high paying job , Issac said this is a one off aberration that has taken place and if one compares similar things that took place in the previous Congress governance, there are numerous such cases.

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