No more propping up sick PSUs: CM

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government will no more prop up public sector units (PSUs) that repeatedly fail to find their financial footing.

Speaking to journalists on the first anniversary of the second LDF government here on Friday, Mr. Vijayan said the administration would not channel taxpayers' money to pay the salaries of employees of PSUs and public utilities that failed to reform.

He seconded Transport Minister Antony Raju's controversial statement that the government could not always dip into the public exchequer to disburse the monthly salaries of the financially ailing Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) workers.

"The Minister is right. The KSRTC has to improve. The public utility should expedite the plan to bail it out of the financial doldrums. Trade unions will back the government's attempt to give a leg up to the public utility," he said.

Mr. Vijayan denied the government had backpedalled on the Silverline (K-Rail) project. The use of GPS based geotagging to study the social impact of K-Rail on communities abutting the proposed alignment of the semi-high-speed transit line would go hand in hand with the laying of concrete markers. "Geotagging technology does not necessarily preclude the laying of K-Rail markers," he said.

Some persons might have misread the use of remote mapping as a sign that the government had backtracked from the K-Rail. The LDF's good show in the local body byelection indicated that the people were optimistic about the Silverline.

Mr. Vijayan denied that the K-Rail would push Kerala into an abyss of irredeemable debt. "The country's economy is precarious. Kerala is no exception. Various global factors are at play. But, poor finances will not prevent Kerala from pushing for big development. Creating future-proof infrastructure development would catapult the State out of stagnation.

Mr. Vijayan demurred when asked whether he viewed the Thrikkakara Assembly byelection as a yardstick of the government's performance. "Each election is different. Myriad factors are at play," he said.

Expelled Congress leader K.V. Thomas would buoy the LDF's chances in Thrikkakara. The government was not keen on prosecuting KPCC president K. Sudhakaran for his alleged derogatory remark about Mr. Vijayan.

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Printable version | May 20, 2022 10:01:31 pm |