Nation Politics 11 Apr 2019 UDF striking at root ...

UDF striking at roots of KIIFB: Thomas Isaac

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | GILVESTER ASSARY
Published Apr 11, 2019, 1:28 am IST
Updated Apr 11, 2019, 1:28 am IST
Dr Thomas Isaac
 Dr Thomas Isaac

Thiruvananthapuram: Finance Minister Dr Thomas Isaac on Wednesday accused the opposition UDF of striking at the roots of KIIFB.

He said the UDF was facing dearth of issues in the elections and that's the reason why opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala has unleashed a slanderous campaign against the ambitious investment turnaround programme.

Question: Why do you think opposition leader has stepped up attack on KIIFB and masala bond ?

Answer: I think UDF is bereft of serious campaign issues in this election and that's why it is targeting the projects funded by Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) which are very visible all over Kerala and these are making a big impact on the people. So a section of UDF leaders are hell bent on running down these projects before the public.

It is also fuelled by the fact that they are ignorant of modern finance. As a result a lot of illogical statements are being made which a section of media is also carrying prominently adding to the confusion.

So what the UDF is doing is partly due to ignorance and partly due to the failure to have any serious campaign issues to focus in the elections.

Q: Is the opposition campaign going to adversely affect KIIFB? Is it going to send wrong signals to the potential investors?

A: Definitely yes. It is going to send wrong signals and that is what we are upset about. After two years of hard work KIIFB has established itself in the financial world and we are getting listed prominently. We are getting good rating. But one issue that the small and medium investors are worried about is whether there will be any lack of political consensus regarding this programme in future.

Everyone is aware of the fact that the ambitious investment plans had received full support of the opposition when the Assembly unanimously passed the KIIFB (amendment) bill in November 2016. Former chief minister Oommen Chandy in his last budget speech had referred to the possibility of setting up such an institution.

Q: What was the opposition's response so far to KIIFB projects that were sanctioned?

A: There has been no controversy regarding sanctioning of projects in different constituencies. There have been no allegations of political interference or political bias in the distribution of projects. We admit that there will certainly be political debates on the issue. But the opposition leader is striking at the roots of KIIFB and that is very unfortunate. Senior leaders like Oommen Chandy are keeping quiet.

 Q: How are you going to counter the opposition criticism?

A: KIIFB investments are visible in most villages. Projects like hospitals, schools, roads, canals are there for everyone to see. We will mobilise the people to counter the anti-KIIFB propaganda.

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