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July 10, 2011 / DC.
Kerala Finance Minister K M Mani - DC.
The Kerala Finance Minister, Mr K.M. Mani, says the only other state that offers some comfort for Kerala on its weak financials is West Bengal, which had slipped several notches under the Left rule.
Blaming the LDF for its “poor financial management” in the last five years, Mr Mani pointed out that the per capita revenue deficit in Kerala was Rs 873 as against Rs 152.85 for Tamil Nadu, Rs 286.5 AP and Rs 195.7 for Karnataka.
West Bengal, with Rs 2,023 per capita revenue deficit, was way behind Kerala.
Mr Mani feared that Kerala was already in a debt trap. As per the budget presented by the former Finance Minister, Dr Thomas Isaac, Kerala had borrowed Rs 19, 633 crore, out of which Rs 15,399 crore was used for debt servicing in the last fiscal. This was when 21 States had recorded revenue surpluses, overcoming the recessionary phase.
Referring to Dr Isaac’s claim that there had been no treasury overdraft during the LDF term and that the treasury liquidity was Rs 1,963 crore when he stepped down on May 18, Mr Mani said this was not factual because the immediate disbursals under various heads came up to Rs 2,154 crore, including the funds spent for the anti-recession package.
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