Thiruvananthapuram: The bane of Kerala is “absolute financial indiscipline”, which is at the heart of the state’s “appalling financial situation”, Union Minister V. Muraleedharan said on Saturday.
In his remarks after inaugurating the meeting of the KSEB Officers Association here, he said: “The real picture today is on the one hand, a free hand is given to trade union leaders to engage in extravagance, while Kerala Finance Minister KN Balagopal is wailing that the Center is not allowing the state to borrow.
“The need of the hour is the CPI-M-backed CITU (trade union) has to be reined in, then only a proper financial discipline will be there,” he said.
There were recent reports that the state is facing acute shortage of finances.
“The fact of the matter is the Center had written three times to state to give details but nothing happened. But the Center released funds to the tune of Rs 5,000 crore and yet Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan says the Center is out to prevent developmental activities happening in the state,” said Muraleedharan.
Muraleedharan, who is the Minister of State for External Affairs, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s agenda is to make the country to achieve self-sufficiency in the power sector.
“But Kerala for some reason is opposing that. While Kerala approaches the Center for funds to pay salaries and pensions, the state is doing nothing to take steps to bring down losses. Today the scene at the Kerala State Electricity Board is a standoff between the present Minister of Power and the former Minister,” he added.
For the first time, the Power Ministry, which has long been a preserve of the CPI-M, has been given to a representative of another constituent of the Left Democratic Front.
Hitherto all along it was a CPI-M Minister which handled it, including Vijayan in 1996.
“Successive governments – the CPI-M-led Left and the Congress-led UDF have left the KSEB reeling under heavy losses and is the classic example of how a state public sector can be effectively mismanaged,” Muraleedharan said.