Following the Comptroller and Auditor General report and the controversial Enforcement Directorate probe, the Income Tax department has sent a notice seeking details of KIIFB schemes. The proposal is to submit details of projects implemented by the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board in the past five years.
The Income Tax department has asked KIIFB to provide details of payments made to contractors over five years, as well as the tax details of each scheme. Earlier this month, the ED had made a similar demand while probing the Foreign Exchange Management Act aspect of the KIIFB.
However, the probe comes at a very crucial stage where the ruling LDF government has been using the various projects completed under KIIFB as an electoral strategy for the upcoming Assembly elections. Moreover, the Pinarayi Vijayan-led coalition has been using “Development through KIIFB” as a slogan as well.
During a press conference on March 4, Chief Minister Vijayan said that the intervention of central agencies in Kerala is a violation of the Model Code of Conduct as the Assembly elections are nearing. “The Central Agencies should not try to appease the Centre and the Opposition,” Vijayan said.
He added that the Enforcement Directorate’s intervention in Kerala was in the interest of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. “Do not interfere with development. The BJP leadership has seen only those who kneel before power. That’s not the case here, it’s Kerala,” he said. The CM said that the attempt to attack the state government with the ED started because the people did not take the Union Finance Minister’s allegation at face value.