'Reduce expenditure, maintain financial discipline,' says outgoing Kerala FM Thomas Isaac

Thiruvananthapuram: Outgoing Finance Minister Thomas Isaac is pretty confident that the state of finances in Kerala is in perfect condition and for the coming one year one needs to have no worries of it.

Isaac could not contest election this time after his party, CPM, decided to leave out all those legislators who have had two successive terms. Isaac's successive four terms in the assembly starting from 2001 came to a grinding halt.

He handled the state's finances first from 2006-11 in the V S Achuthanandan cabinet and then in the outgoing Pinarayi Vijayan cabinet.

He said that there should be no concern of the state's financial health as at the moment things are fine.

"In the first year, things will be fine as Kerala will get a 'revenue deficit grant of Rs 18,000 crore. We got this because of our constant efforts and no other state has got this. So there need be no issues. However, next year there is an expected financial crisis which might take place in the country," said Isaac.

"The need of the hour is to reduce expenditure and one should have a clear idea of the revenues and maintaining of financial discipline is a must," added Isaac.

On his pet project KIIFB, he said it was really of concern the way central agencies created a scare and adding to that the way the Congress-led opposition went about spreading canards about it has definitely dented the image of KIIFB.

KIIFB got a huge boost in the present term of Isaac and is a government-owned financial institution formed to mobilise funds for infrastructure development from outside the state revenue, and numerous projects are assigned funds from the KIIFB.

"At present due to all these happenings, the image of KIIFB has been affected. Now that the elections are all over, the Congress-led opposition should not again continue in the same manner against KIIFB," added Isaac.

The grapevine has it that Isaac, who gave his fledging academic career at the prestigious Centre for Development Studies, here, a break in 2001, is now getting ready to return to academics and if needed the party might even give him leave.

"Just because I am not a minister doesn't mean anything. I will work as per the directions of the party and since now I have lots of time in my hand I will utilise it to read and study," added Isaac.

(With inputs from IANS)

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