Following Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's attack on Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) and the Kerala budget, state Finance Minister TM Thomas Isaac hit back at Sitharaman saying that she has no idea what she is talking about.
“Sitharaman should have realised that when someone automatically reads that the dignity of the position he bears is dissolving. Not only did she not do her homework, but her remarks proved that she doesn't have any understanding of KIIFB and the state budget. Central Finance Minister should not regret for which I am openly saying Shame on You,” Isaac said in a Facebook post.
Isaac also explained about KIIFB. “KIIFB is a system set up for distributing resources outside the budget. Comptroller and Auditor General’s (CAG) criticism was that KIFB's arrival and expenses are not made part of the budget. The only thing to say is that whoever wrote this speech should not have fooled the Union Finance Minister like this. A little more quality and serious approach are expected from that position,” he said.
On Sunday, Sitharaman attended the ‘Vijay Yathra’ in Kochi. During the rally, she accused the Kerala government of putting all the budget money into KIIFB.
“Kerala Budget was presented and all the money is given to KIIFB. I don't know what budget making is this when all the money is given to one KIIFB,” she said. She added that the Union government makes budgets. “We don't give all money to one particular agency and say, we'll see about it,” Sitharaman said, adding that the CAG criticized it and Kerala is heading to a “debt trap”.
Meanwhile, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also criticized the opposition for allegedly trying to destroy the credibility of KIIFB. “Through KIIFB, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government bought infrastructure development fund in the state,” Vijayan said, adding that the previous (UDF) government did not understand the importance of infrastructure.