I-T dept collects KIIFB project details, Finance Minister Thomas Isaac slams move

The I-T department sought details from Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board on the projects implemented in the last five years.
Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac
Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac
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The Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) on Thursday handed over details of its projects to the Income Tax Department, days after a notice was served seeking details of the work done in the last five years. The I-T department had sought details from KIIFB on the contractors, projects implemented in the last five years, amount handed over to contractors and tax details, among others.

KIIFB was constituted by the Government of Kerala as a Body Corporate financial institution in Kerala to mobilise funds for infrastructure development from outside the state revenue. State Finance Minister Thomas Isaac lashed out at the central agency and said IT officials reached to collect details after informing the media just to "defame" the KIIFB.

"We had earlier handed over some details to the I-T department. But later they asked for more details. They come to the office after informing the media, but say it's not a raid, not a search. Then what is it? Their aim is to defame the KIIFB," Isaac told reporters.

A KIIFB officer, who spoke to the media, said the I-T department sought details on the constitution of the KIIFB and related materials and there was no abnormality in it. KIIFB sources said details of projects were handed over to the department officials. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had earlier this week claimed that the central agencies were trying to destroy the KIIFB.

Earlier, the Enforcement Directorate had summoned KIIFB officials seeking information to probe into borrowings made through masala bonds, which are issued by an Indian entity in a foreign market in the rupee denomination and enables an entity to borrow from foreign investors, by KIIFB. However, the Finance Minister had announced that officials will not respond to summons as the previous time, one of the female KIIFB officers had a harrowing experience.

The state government had also held the stand that the central investigation agencies are being used by the BJP-led Union government to target KIIFB and defame it.

(With PTI inputs)


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