The Cabinet has decided to institute a Vigilance inquiry to find out the persons responsible for advising the organisers of the Kochi-Muziris Biennele that they were not required to submit to the government the accounts of the funds provided from the State exchequer for the conduct of the previous edition of the event in Kochi.
Briefing the media about the decisions taken at the meeting of the Cabinet here on Wednesday, Minister for Information and Public Relations K.C. Joseph said the inspection wing of the Finance Department had made the recommendation for instituting such an inquiry. The code relating to expenditure of funds from the State exchequer insisted upon proper accounting and auditing and it was improper if the organisers of the Kochi-Muziris Biennele were advised by anyone in the government that they were not required to do so.
He said the previous event was sanctioned a sum of Rs.5 crore by the Left Democratic Front government. There was the promise of another grant also and it was at the time of processing the request for the second instalment of assistance that complaints relating to the utilisation of the disbursed amount surfaced.
He said the government would withdraw its nominees, ‘if any’, from the trust that was behind the conduct of the Kochi-Muziris Biennele. The event would not receive any further assistance from the government. “This is a big event attracting international participation. Therefore, the government would lend it all support except financial support,” the Minister said.
Mr. Joseph said that, as in the case of the previous edition of the event, the government would provide the facilities at the Durbar Hall in Kochi free of rent for the biennele for a period of four months. “The government does not approve of the suggestion from certain quarters for blacklisting the organisation. This is a cultural organisation,” he said.
He also said the organisers of the event should not use the emblem of either the government or the Kerala Lalithakala Akademi in this year’s edition of the biennele.