Union Minister slams Kerala FM over his claims on financial grants

Thiruvananthapuram, May 29 (IANS): Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan on Monday hit back at Kerala Finance Minister K.N. Balagopal, terming him a 'liar', after the latter alleged that Centre is cutting down on its rightful share of grants and loans.

Muraleedharan told the media that the limit of grants and loans are based on the directions made by the Finance Commission.

"They have earmarked Rs 55,182 crore for Kerala, of which Rs 34,661 crore have been availed by the state. Of the remaining Rs 20,521 crore, Rs 15,390 crore is for the first three quarters and the balance Rs 5,131 crore will be sanctioned only at the fourth quarter. And if this is what the State Finance Minister is referring to as the Centre is cutting Kerala's share, then one can only laugh," said Muraleedharan.

Muraleedharan pointed out that according to the RBI figures, in the country, Kerala is there in the list of five states which have the highest debts in the country.

"The scene is such that if Kerala is allowed to avail loans for extravagance, then it will go the way Sri Lanka went and the Centre will not allow that to happen," said Muraleedharan.

"Kerala today is availing loans and grants not for infusing funds for giving social welfare pensions or for infrastructure developments, but it's for giving honorariums for people like K.V. Thomas and to build a swimming pool for Pinarayi Vijayan or for his foreign jaunts. It's time for the media to verify and come out with a list of Communist party leaders along with their family members who have visited Europe and USA," added Muraleedharan.

Muraleedharan's statement came after Vijayan and Balagopal attacked the Centre for not having a favourable attitude to the felt needs of Kerala, when it came to sanctioning loans to the state and called for a joint protest against this attitude with the Congress-led Opposition.

However, Leader of Opposition V.D. Satheesan on Monday said they have no clue of the exact financial situation and they only read a Facebook post of Balagopal, but they are not going to react based on this.

"We want the state government explain things clearly, what and where is the problem," said Satheesan.



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Title: Union Minister slams Kerala FM over his claims on financial grants

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