Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala’s Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac of Saturday warned that the state government would exhaust its borrowing capacity — which was otherwise supposed to last till December — by next month.
"We won't be able to pay salaries in two months, let alone fight Covid-19. The Kerala government is slipping into a dangerous situation," Isaac said, adding that the state’s entire borrowing capacity will be exhausted by June.
"We have been permitted to borrow up to 14,000 crore till December. To pay the salaries, I have to borrow. In two months, this amount will be exhausted. How will we pay salaries after that? Should we close down the government? This is senseless. Never in the history of Indian federalism has any government acted with such disdain and absolute lack of empathy for the states," the state’s finance minister said.
Isaac said states require funds to fight the pandemic. "The central government is now having 10 per cent of GDP as package and should set aside 2 per cent for the states, this is all we are asking for," he said, adding that in GST payments the Centre owes States about one lakh crore rupees till the month of April.
Fighting the Covid-19 is turning out to be a huge task for the Kerala government as Malayalees from abroad and other states have been coming to Kerala. Since May 7, the state has seen a surge in the number of cases with 80 active infections being found in 21 people who recently landed in here from abroad.