CPI, RSP protest against the way the pact was signed with the ADB
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The State committee of the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) has endorsed the Government decision to take a $ 221.2 million loan for the Kerala Sustainable Urban Development Project from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The LDF committee, which had been grappling with the issue for several weeks now, decided to accept the loan after the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) and the Communist Party of India (CPI) agreed to the proposal after registering strong protest against the manner in which the loan agreement was signed between the State Government and the ADB on December 8.
The agreement is set to come into effect on March 8. The issue had gone up to the Communist Party of India (Marxist) Polit Bureau, which, while upholding Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan's contention that not enough discussions had been held before the agreement was signed, had counselled acceptance of the loan.
Briefing presspersons after the LDF State committee meeting here on Thursday, Front convener Vaikom Viswan said the loan was being taken keeping in view the amendments that had been made in the loan agreement by the United Democratic Front Government following a hue and cry. The changes effected in the loan agreement were substantive and protected the interests of the State. The LDF was unable to look into these as elections were announced immediately after the changes were effected. Some of the conditions such as installation of meters to measure the quantity of water supplied through public taps were the result of demands made by the local bodies themselves and not imposed by the ADB. The provisions enabling the ADB to inspect offices and check the accounts of the local bodies had been deleted, he claimed.
The LDF convener said the RSP and the CPI, which had raised objections to the loan, were now convinced about the need to accept the loan, but disagreed with a questioner's suggestion that this was an overnight development. The LDF panel had endorsed their position that decision on such issues should be taken only after prior consultation in the forum of the front, he added.
Mr. Viswan said the LDF committee had also cleared the abkari policy that proposed, among other things, sale of toddy shops to persons who were running them well and unification of norms for distance between liquor shops and bars from places of worship and educational institutions.