Centre should give funds as grant: Isaac

Staff Reporter

ALAPPUZHA: Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac has said that the Left-led government in the State is not building socialism, but standing within the constraints imposed by the Union government and undertaking alternative policies aimed at protecting the interests of workers and the poor and improving their living conditions.

Speaking at the State-level inaugural of the Centre-sponsored Integrated Housing and Slum Development Programme (IHSDP) here on Tuesday, Dr. Isaac said the party’s stance had never changed and was the same even in 1957 when the Left came to power in the State under the leadership of E.M.S. Namboodiripad.

Land reforms

“When EMS was asked about land reforms, he had said at that time too that the land reform idea was actually proposed by the Congress before Independence. What the Left had done was to implement it in a way beneficial to the poor while standing within the limits defined by the Centre’s policies. Now too, we have to undertake alternative policies for the welfare of the common man because there is no financial autonomy for the State government.”

Seeks more priority

Demanding that funds be given as grants to the State government instead of specifying Centre-sponsored schemes and limiting utilisation of funds to those schemes, Dr. Isaac said the scheme-oriented funding of the Centre was preventing the State government from allowing funds to requirements that needed more priority than the schemes dictated by the Union government.

Situation in other States

“The situation is the same in all States. That’s why there is need for a revamp in the relations between the Union government and State governments,” he said.

Earlier, Alappuzha MLA K.C. Venugopal said time-bound implementation of programmes like the IHSDP was a crucial factor, and not submission of projects.