While Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala called the budget a ridiculing exercise, former Finance Minister KM Mani said that relying on KIIFB will increase the debt burden.

Unrealistic unduly reliant on KIIFB Opposition slams Kerala Budget
news Kerala Budget Thursday, January 31, 2019 - 19:55

The Opposition in Kerala has flayed the state Budget for 2019-20 terming it unrealistic and too reliant on Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB). Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala slammed the Finance Minister Thomas Isaac calling it a “KIFFB budget”.

"The Finance Minister is saying that everything will be implemented by the fund from KIFFB. But does not say from where KIIFB will get fund. CPI(M) which used to oppose corporates now says that corporate investment will be increased,” said Ramesh.

“By this, even the reality of finance management of the state government has been questioned. The budget presented today was a ridiculing exercise - of mobilizing and spending funds through a parallel, imaginary economic source that would seriously affect the relevance of the budget. The Finance Minister is relying on KIIFB for each and everything. It is his pipedream that the reality of severe financial crunch of the economy can be covered with magic tricks. It is not that the Finance Minister who is an economist as well does not know the reality of how unrealistic and impractical is a budget reliant on KIIFB. It is political pressure rather than financial realities that has forced him for such a farce,” the Opposition leader said.    

“He has returned to the unkept promises of the last budget by relying on KIIFB. Only nominal amount of money could be collected through KIIFB last year,” he added.

He also said that the budget helps the liquor barons.

Kerala Congress (M) chief and long-term Finance Minister in the United Democratic Front governments KM Mani said that the budget would increase the debt burden. He also termed it a KIIFB magical budget. “In 2016-17 it was said that Rs 2660 crore would be spent and in 2017-18 Rs 2500 crore would be spent. The projects announced in the 2017-18 budget have not been materialised. KIFFB will only raise the debt burden of the government, there will be a huge debt burden,” he said.

He added that the budget failed to come out with solutions to address financial crunch.

KPCC President Mullappally Ramachandran said that the budget is attacking in the dark at a time when people have already been struggling because of inflation. “The government should be ready to issue a White Paper with the reality of the projects announced in the previous budgets,” he challenged. 

 

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