Union Minister of State for External Affairs, V. Muralidharan, launched a scathing attack on Kerala Finance Minister KN Balagopal, accusing the state government of spreading false propaganda regarding the cutting of borrowing limits. Muralidharan clarified that borrowing limits for all states are determined based on the recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission, and Kerala is subject to the same norms.
He pointed out that Kerala has already availed Rs 34,661 crore out of the allocated Rs 55,182 crore for the current fiscal year. Out of the remaining Rs 20,521 crore, Rs 15,390 crore has been allocated for the first three quarters, with the remaining Rs 5,131 crore to be disbursed in the final quarter. Muralidharan emphasized that the finance minister’s portrayal of it as a “cutback” is misleading.
Highlighting statistics from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Muralidharan criticized Kerala’s borrowing practices, stating that the funds obtained were not primarily used for welfare pensions or infrastructure development. Instead, he alleged that loans were directed towards providing honorariums to individuals like KV Thomas or financing endeavors such as Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s foreign trips or the construction of swimming pools.
The Union Minister urged the media to investigate the foreign trips of Communist Party leaders to Western countries, including Europe and America. He warned that if borrowing is allowed for unnecessary extravagance, Kerala could face a situation similar to Sri Lanka. Muralidharan made it clear that the central government will not cooperate with such practices.