Kerala

CAG’s remarks aimed at tarnishing govt. image: Isaac

Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac has said the adverse comments made by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on the State Finance Audit Report was aimed at tarnishing the image of State government and to scuttle development initiatives.

“The CAG had said that all loans sourced by Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) were unconstitutional. The Opposition said they shared the same views. The Left Democratic Front will make it a poll plank in the elections,” Dr. Isaac said in his reply to the adjournment motion moved by Congress member V.D. Satheesan in the Assembly on Wednesday.

Reiterating that the CAG cannot include comments without seeking explanation from the State, Dr. Isaac said the Opposition was supporting the move by vested interests to tarnish the government and stall development. The CAG report was not binding to the State government as the Assembly could drop any paragraph after examination.

“The CAG report is a challenge and disrespect to the Assembly as three pages were inserted in the final report,” he said.

Pointing out that the Reserve Bank of India had given NOC for loans taken by the KIIFB from abroad, Dr. Isaac said the KIIFB was a body corporate and that only States had been barred from taking foreign loans.

Launching a scathing attack on the Opposition, the Finance Minister said the model adopted was control leverage and the changes were visible in the infrastructure front. “We passed the laws jointly. You are parting ways as elections are approaching as you fear that we will get an upper hand,” Dr. Isaac said.

Following the Finance Minister’s reply, the Speaker dismissed the motion. Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said Dr. Isaac had failed to answer the queries raised by them and should step down. The Opposition walked out in protest. Earlier, the House witnessed heated debate over the KIIFB sourcing off-budget loans.

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 1:15:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/cags-remarks-aimed-at-tarnishing-govt-image-isaac/article33619884.ece

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