CAG Report on KIIFB: Thomas Isaac Alleges Conspiracy Against Kerala
Kerala Finance Minister TM Thomas Isaac.
Continuing to lock horns over the CAG report on KIIFB, Finance minister Thomas Isaac on Tuesday claimed a political conspiracy had been hatched to choke Kerala's development projects, as the Congress and BJP demanded his resignation for violating norms by making public the contents before it was tabled in the assembly. Isaac, who had earlier stated that it was a draft report of the Comptroller and Auditor General,today said it was 'a final report.'
Describing as one-sided the CAG finding that the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB)'s borrowing model was unconstitutional, Isaac told reporters at Alappuzha that no discussions had been held with the government before preparing it. KIIFB is the primary agency of the state government for financing large and critical infrastructure projects in the state.
"The issue is not whether it is a draft or final report.It needs to be seen how it would impact development in the state.The Congress-led UDF is keeping mum on this. What was not there in the draft report. Four pages were added in the report mainly about the constitutionality of floating masala bonds outside the country as part of a conspiracy from Delhi," he alleged.
The CAG's aim was to throttle the state and scuttle its various development projects, Isaac claimed, adding a "big political conspiracy" was going on against Kerala. All political parties need to stand together on the matter, he asserted.
"This is unprecedented. We have to be vigilant and Kerala should stand together against moves to destroy KIIFB," he said. The minister said KIIFB's masala bonds were launched with RBI approval.
Taking on Isaac, lead of Opposition in the state assembly, Ramesh Chennithala claimed the masala bonds are not transparent. The minister had violated norms by leaking the report to the media even before it was placed in the House and he should resign, Chennithala said.
The UDF was being dubbed as against development, which was not true, he said, adding KIIFB projects should be implemented in a transparent manner. "We are against kickbacks, commissions.We are not against KIIFB. We want transparency," he said.
BJP State president K Surendran said Isaac had violated the oath of office by revealing the contents of the CAG report to the media and the chief minister should demand his resignation.