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Updated: September 15, 2011 13:52 IST

Probe into non-payment of arrears

Special Correspondent
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Chief Minister Oommen Chandy
The Hindu Chief Minister Oommen Chandy

Farm workers' pension

The Cabinet has decided to seek explanation from secretaries of the local bodies that had defaulted in disbursal of agricultural workers' pension arrears before Onam.

The government would contemplate action against secretaries of the local bodies that had failed to disburse the funds which were released as early as August 31 and were available with District Labour Officers (DLOs), Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said after a meeting of the State Cabinet here on Wednesday.

The government had sanctioned Rs.14 crore for clearing the arrears from January, which had been left unpaid by the Left Democratic Front government despite its claim of having left behind Rs.2,500 crore in the State exchequer. The decision to sanction the funds was taken in view of the festival season. All local bodies except the Muvattupuzha municipality had received the funds before Onam. However, the funds never got disbursed on time and this had resulted in a CPI(M)-led agitation over the issue, Mr. Chandy said.

Asked whether the secretaries alone could be faulted in the matter, he said the probe was intended to fix responsibility. When pointed out that almost 55 per cent of the local bodies in the State were controlled by the United Democratic Front, Mr. Chandy said those who had defaulted in pension arrear disbursal would have to explain the reasons for their failure to do so regardless of their political affiliation .

On the government's market borrowings over the last few weeks, the Chief Minister said there was no financial crisis in the State. The market borrowings were in line with the computations in the 2011-12 budget and within the limits permitted by the Central government and, as such, there was nothing wrong with it, Mr. Chandy said.

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