Nation Current Affairs 04 Jan 2018 Kerala FM Dr TM Thom ...

Kerala FM Dr TM Thomas Isaac ‘won’t hurt staff, pensioners’

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Jan 4, 2018, 6:40 am IST
Updated Jan 4, 2018, 6:40 am IST
Dr Prakash charged that the unbridled growth in the number of aided schools was gobbling up a large share of the non-plan expenditure.
Dr T. M. Thomas Isaac
 Dr T. M. Thomas Isaac

Thiruvananthapuram: Finance minister Dr T. M. Thomas Isaac is under strong compulsion to drastically cut non-plan expenditure but he has unequivocally stated that it would not be at the cost of salaries, pensions, and other perks of government employees. The finance minister has rejected the suggestion that pay revision should be carried out only once in ten years; now it happens once every five years.

The two DA increases a year will also continue. He brushed aside the recommendation that new recruits should be paid only basic pay for a certain period. Privatisation of PSUs has also been ruled out. Isaac’s economic strategy was articulated at the pre-budget consultation he held with leading economists of the state on January 1.

 

Former chairman of Kerala Public Expenditure Review Committee Dr B. Alwin Prakash, whom even Isaac considers his most bitter critic, charged that the finance minister was practicing fiscal profligacy. “There is no bar on the extravagance of the governing class,” Dr Prakash said. “The misuse of official vehicles is rampant. Government officials, even those lower down the hierarchy, use Toyota Innova,” he said. A top source in the Finance Minister’s Office said that as part of the rationalisation exercise vehicles costlier than `10 lakh were not sanctioned.

 

Dr Prakash charged that the unbridled growth in the number of aided schools was gobbling up a large share of the non-plan expenditure. Dr Isaac, it seems, is helpless on this account. “We must be held to account if we had sanctioned any schools. We have not,” the source said. “We are simply paying the bill for the extravagance of the earlier government. Once an aided school is sanctioned and posts created, it is a fait accompli. Even a new government can do nothing but create posts and pay salaries,” he said.

People's representatives, Dr Prakash said, were on a spending spree. “MLAs and former MLAs are securing medical expenses from the state without any limit. One MLA had even pocketed `1.9 crore as medical expenses,” he said. The FM’s Office conceded the point but argued that there had never been any control over medical reimbursements of MLAs. “Even then, the total reimbursement bill of MLAs, employees and pensioners during the last fiscal was just `89 crore,” the FM’s Office said.

 

Dr Prakash was also critical of the KIIFB. “There is no doubt that when it is time for the KIIFB repayments, the economy will be wrecked,” he said. But, according to Isaac, KIIFB is the biggest stimulus package ever for the state.

...




ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
-->