Kerala

Isaac gives reply to Speaker

Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac appeared before Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan on Monday and gave his explanation in connection with a breach of privilege notice moved by Congress legislator V.D. Satheesan.

Dr. Isaac gave the explanation sought by the Speaker on the basis of the notice moved under Section 159 of the Kerala Legislative Assembly, Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business.

Mr. Satheesan had alleged that Dr. Isaac had infringed on the rights of the House by prematurely disclosing the details of an audit report of the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) for 2018-19 by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).

In his explanation, Dr. Isaac reportedly said he thought it was a draft report from the CAG and that he assumed that the CAG would seek the opinion of the government ahead of preparing the final report. However, it was only later that he realised that the report referred by him was the final CAG report.

Later, speaking to the media, the Minister hoped that the Speaker would take appropriate action and that he was ready to appear before the Privileges and Ethics Committee to explain the facts.

“I will go by what the Speaker decides and accept it. There will be no protest,” Dr. Isaac said.

The Minister reiterated his earlier stance that the CAG had also committed breach of privilege. Stating that the CAG can examine government accounts, he said it should be subjected to scrutiny whether the CAG had followed its guidelines and international norms while preparing the audit report to be submitted in the Assembly.

On raid on KSFE

“As it is election time, many are interested in dragging on the issue. I have nothing more to add to what I said,” the Minister said about the VACB raid on KSFE branches. Action would be taken on the basis of the VACB report. The details of the report had come not to the department but in the media. But, the Finance Department would not demand action against VACB officials who carried out raids on KSFE branches. .

Bid to tarnish ULCCS

Dr. Isaac also came out against what he termed the move to tarnish the image of Uralungal Labour Contract Cooperative Society Ltd. using the Enforcement Directorate. “The ULCCS is a prestigious organisation of the State. It is a part of the move to tarnish the image of reputed organisations. Even during the UDF regime, works were given to the ULCCS. Legislators had been asked to give works in their constituencies to the ULCCS,” he added.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2021 7:29:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/isaac-gives-reply-to-speaker/article33216610.ece

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