Kerala government used KIIFB as a source to earn money: BJP

Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) confirmed that the annual report with the reference of Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) was submitted to the government of Kerala. Kerala Finance Minister earlier alleged that hat the report received was the draft audit report. The information was released by the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting after the government leveled political allegations against the CAG over KIIFB.

Amid the ongoing controversy over the CAG’s report on the state-run KIIFB, state BJP president K Surendran alleged that the CPI(M) government used the KIIFB fund as a “source to earn money” and called for CBI investigation into the same. The BJP leader also alleged that the ruling CPI(M) is fielding those candidates in local body elections who have alleged nexus in the gold smuggling case, which proves its connection with gold smuggling. He also alleged that KIIFB deals are not transparent so there is a chance for corruption. CAG report also backs this stand now. The accusations came against the backdrop of Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac’s allegation that the Union government is using central agencies and the CAG office to sabotage developmental activities in the state. Earlier, the United Democratic Front (UDF) also alleged that Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac was deliberately trying to create controversy over the CAG report on KIIFB in order to “divert public attention” from the crisis faced by the state government over gold smuggling and money laundering cases. With several projects of the state government including KFONE coming under the scanner of the central agencies including the Enforcement Directorate following the probe into the Kerala gold smuggling case, the CPI(M) sees red in the draft CAG report, prompting Isaac to cast doubts over the Centre’s intention. He alleged that certain contents of the draft report were “politically motivated”. Isaac had alleged that the CAG report is an attempt to state that KIIFB loans are off-budget and anti-constitutional.

Meanwhile, K M Abraham, CEO of KIIFB, announced his plan to resign from the post. He informed the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan about this two months ago about his willingness to resign and stated that it had nothing to do with the current controversy. At the same time, documents have revealed that then Chief Secretary Tom Jose and Finance secretary Manoj Joshi opposed the raising of masala bonds at high interest rate in the meeting of KIIFB. It was K M Abraham who seek board approval to raise money by issuing bonds on the London Stock Exchange.