Kerala Finance Minister Dr Thomas Isaac on Thursday hit out against the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) alleging that it breached the privilege of the Kerala Assembly. The Minister said that there were major changes in what has been mentioned about KIIFB (Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board) in the draft report of CAG and what is mentioned in the final report.
Isaac is under fire from the Congress and the BJP, who have sought his resignation, for allegedly lying and violating the oath of secrecy by deliberately leaking the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) report on the KIIFB (Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board) to the media.
The KIIFB is a government-owned financial institution formed to mobilise funds for infrastructure development outside the state and numerous projects are assigned funds from it. Addressing the media, Isaac said in the audit done by the CAG for the period 2018-19, in the draft report, there were only two paragraphs which had a mention of KIIFB.
"But in the final report, there were four pages on KIIFB. These four pages were not given in the draft and it is the CAG which has breached the privilege of the Kerala Assembly. Of late, it has come to our notice that there are leaks taking place and in it also the role of CAG is there, and I was told by journalists that they got the information from the CAG," said Isaac.
"The CAG is playing truant and as a result the future of Kerala where Rs 50,000 crores projects under KIIFB is hanging under fire. This is an extraordinary and unprecedented situation. We will examine the legal issues on this. Just as the CAG has rights they have responsibilities and should be done according to the law," added Isaac.
While the Congress-led opposition has filed a breach of privilege motion against Isaac for revealing the contents of the CAG report before placing it on the floor of the Assembly, Isaac said he will give a detailed reply to the Speaker, who has already served him a notice.
"The opposition should explain what their schemes for developing Kerala are and do they have an alternative to KIIFB. The breach of privilege filed against me is not an issue, I will answer. I am more worried about how the CAG is going forward stalling the numerous development projects that have been cleared by KIIFB. That's the real issue and am surprised the opposition is yet to come out with their schemes," added Isaac, and said that he is in the process of preparing a 100-page reply to the CAG.