‘Oppn. aim is to stall development projects using CAG’s draft report’
The Opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) should clarify whether it wants to surrender the freedom of financial institutions such as Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB), Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac has said.
Responding to the Opposition charges that the Finance Minister had committed breach of privilege of the Assembly by making a public statement on the draft report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India on the KIIFB, Dr. Isaac said the LDF government had in 1999 and the UDF government in 2003 raised funds by way of KIIFB and no one raised these issues then.
The UDF was attempting to stall development projects worth ₹50,000 crore that were being implemented in the State using KIIFB funds. This cannot be permitted, he said.
The people had been enjoying the benefits of various infrastructure initiatives undertaken by the State government using KIIFB funds, he said.
Tenders for projects worth ₹30,000 crore had been floated under the KIIFB and it cannot be dropped midway. If the UDF was opposed to the KIIFB, it should come up with an answer on how to take these projects forward, he said.
Several public sector companies such as National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) had raised foreign funds, to which the CAG had no objections. The freedom available to these agencies should also be extended to the KIIFB, he said.
A nearly 100-page reply is being readied for the queries raised by the CAG. The Chief Secretary will forward the reply to the CAG, which will be shared with the people. The attempts of the UDF-BJP combine to stall the development projects by using the draft report of the CAG would be thwarted. The people, who had benefited by KIIFB projects, would give a befitting reply to the false campaign, Dr. Isaac said.
On the Opposition charges of breach of privilege, the Finance Minister said such issues could be discussed in the Assembly as and when they come up. There were no allegations of corruption against the KIIFB-supported projects, which were being implemented in the State. At the same time, legislators of all political parties were pressing the government for taking up more projects in their constituencies, he said.
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