Kerala

UDF plans ‘White Paper’ on State finances

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Chennithala comes down heavily on government spendings

The Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) is planning to come out with what it calls an ‘alternative White Paper’ on the State’s finances in the coming days.

Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala told the media here on Saturday that the State was going through a grave financial crisis. “The treasury cleared just two Bills in November. One on the statutory pension for former government employees and teachers and another on the Chief Minister’s foreign tours,” he said. The Finance Department had not been able to mop up not even 10% of tax target from various sources and there would be a shortage of at least around ₹5,000 crore.

When the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government came to power in 2016, it had released a White Paper. But none of the proposals in it were implemented, Mr. Chennithala alleged. This was why the UDF was planning to release its own White Paper.

“Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac is simply blaming the Centre for not releasing its compensation for the State for the losses it had incurred after implementing the Goods and Services Tax (GST). The amount will come to around ₹1,600 crore. UDF MPs will raise the issue in Parliament,” Mr. Chennithala said.

The Congress leader, however, alleged that despite such a gloomy scenario, the government was going about spending lakhs of rupees for foreign tour of the Chief Minister. Mr. Chennithala claimed that the people were not going to benefit from these tours, the details of which were kept out of the ambit of the Right to Information Act.

Also, the government had handed over contracts worth crores of rupees to Uralungal Labour Contract Cooperative Society to take up construction works. Not even leaders of other political parties were aware of it, Mr. Chennithala said. The UDF would continue to legally challenge the formation of the proposed Kerala Bank, he said.

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 7:27:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/udf-plans-white-paper-on-state-finances/article30124893.ece

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