Nation Politics 01 Feb 2018 Isaac is a schemer l ...

Isaac is a schemer like Ukridge: VD Satheesan

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Feb 1, 2018, 6:12 am IST
Updated Feb 1, 2018, 6:12 am IST
V.D. Satheesan ridicules finance minister, calls Dr Isaac’s KIIFB plan funny.
Dr T.M. Thomas Isaac
 Dr T.M. Thomas Isaac

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Congress MLA V. D. Satheesan ridiculed finance minister Dr T.M. Thomas Isaac's KIIFB experiment in the Assembly on Wednesday, likening it to Ukridge's dreamy chicken business. Stanley Featherstonehaugh Ukridge, an opportunist who is always thinking up fanciful schemes to multiply his capital, is a fictional character created by the legendary humorist P.G. Wodehouse. 

"The simplistic manner in which Mr Isaac speaks about KIIFB reminds me of how Ukridge tells his wife about how they could run a chicken business without spending a pie," Mr Satheesan said. The chicken episode is found in P.G. Wodehouse's novel 'Love Among the Chickens'. 

 

Ukridge, like Dr Isaac is wont to speak about KIIFB, calls it "the idea of a lifetime". Get your first hen from your neighbour promising to pay later, Ukridge tells his wife. This hen will hatch a dozen chicken. "Then he asks her to suppose there are a dozen hens. When each of the dozen has a dozen chickens, he tells her to send the old hens back to the people from whom she had borrowed them. Supposing that all of these dozens beget another set of dozens, Ukridge tells his wife that she can then start the business with a hundred and forty-four free chickens. "And after a bit, when the chickens grow up and begin to lay, Ukridge tells her that all she has to do is to sit back in her chair and endorse the big cheques," Mr Satheesan said. "Isaac's KIIFB plan is as simplistic, and funny, as this," he added.

 

Later, the Opposition staged a walkout in protest against the Speaker's decision not to allow an adjournment motion on the state's fiscal crisis. Moving the motion, Mr Satheesan said that the social welfare entitlements of over three lakh pensioners had been blocked for the last 10 months, that development works in local bodies had been virtually frozen following a three-month Treasury shut down, and that contractors had stopped taking up public works. He charged that the government had even failed to pay the food bill of anganwadis.

 

The finance minister conceded that there was a fiscal crisis but said that it had blown over after the Centre allowed the state to borrow Rs 6000 crore. "Restrictions have been lifted and no clearance is required for bills up to Rs five crore," Dr Isaac said. "All curbs placed on the plan fund utilisation of local bodies have been lifted," he added. He also said that the GST had not brought in expected revenues. Dr Isaac, however, did not address the issue of pension denial directly. "The average annual pension outgo during the last UDF tenure was Rs 1650 crore. But this fiscal alone, we had disbursed Rs 5030 crore," Dr Isaac said.

 

PENSIONERS PLIGHT: Mr Satheesan but insisted on the plight of three lakh pensioners whose submissions were not even accepted. Indirectly admitting that there was indeed such an issue, the finance minister said that the Budget, which would be presented on February 2, would lay down the guidelines for pension entitlements. The finance minister's office said that the three lakh plus pensioners that Satheesan was referring to were new applicants. "Already 42 lakh pensioners are served, 10 lakh more than those served by the last UDF government. Before new applicants are considered certain parameters, like the annual income ceiling for instance, have to be first decided upon," an officer close to finance minster said.

 

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