Finance Minister K.M. Mani announced in the Assembly on Tuesday that the government would start accepting zero interest deposits through treasuries in the absence of Islamic banking in the State.

Replying to debate on the motion regarding demands for grants on account, the Minister said special counters would be opened in the treasuries to accept such deposits.

The question of providing dividend in tune with the Islamic banking concepts would be considered.

Mr. Mani asserted that the previous government had proposed a Budget expenditure of Rs.5,066 crore in the current year's Budget without earmarking resources. However, he amended his earlier statement that the uncovered Budget commitments of the previous government exceeded Rs.10,000 crore.

He admitted that the previous government had earmarked Rs.5,133 crore for payment of pension arrears and pay revision. However, it had left behind uncovered, unfunded, and unscientific commitments.

The previous government had announced stimulus package totalling Rs. 10,000 crore in 2009-10. The spill-over commitment for the current year in this respect would be of Rs.2,100 crore.

Similarly, there were spill-over expenditure of Rs.425 crore and Rs.475 crore in irrigation and water supply schemes.

The previous government had given administrative sanction to many projects without earmarking resources. This had put the State's finances under stress as could be seen from the white paper on finances presented to the House. “The finances had been utterly mismanaged during the last five years.”

The new government either had to propose additional taxation amounting to Rs.5,000 crore, cut expenditure or avail itself of loans. However, there were limitations in availing loans, he added.

The Minister said the State could have claimed grants totalling Rs.1,063 crore under the terms of the Finance Commission Award if the revenue expenditure could be reduced during the rule of the previous government.

However, it had lost Rs.812 crore because of the inability to check revenue expenditure. Similarly, Rs.414 crore was lost in grants on account of failure to furnish utilisation certificates. A sum of Rs.240 crore could not be claimed because of failure to submit workable projects.

Besides, Rs.174 crore that was available for road maintenance could not be made use of. Thus, the State had lost Rs.1,614 crore for want of vigilance.

He said that his revised Budget for the current year would promote development. “I am proud to say that it is development-oriented.”

After the Minister's reply, the House passed the motion seeking to grant Rs.10,905.78 crore for defraying the charges on the exchequer during August, September, and October this year.