Kerala Kaumudi Online
Monday, 18 January 2021 7.19 AM IST

Chief Minister defends KIIFB, says no projects will be stopped


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday strongly defended the KIIFB projects, which have recently come under the scanner of the Enforcement Directorate, and said the Board was necessary for the development of the state and none of the projects will be stopped.

"The Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) is an institution for the development of the state and any attempts to destroy it will be strongly opposed. People did not elect this government to stand idle in the face of challenges," Vijayan said.

A section of media had recently reported that the ED has started a probe against the KIIFB and sought information from the Reserve Bank of India on its no-objection certificate to the board to borrow funds from international markets.

Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac had also attacked the ED for its reported probe against the state-run KIIFB, saying such ''tactics'' would not scare the Left government.

"No matter whoever opposes, the state government will not abandon any of the KIIFB projects. The state is witnessing unprecedented developmental activities despite a shortage of central funds and revenue.

We will strongly oppose those who think that they can destroy the state by destroying KIIFB," Vijayan told a press meet here.

He lashed out at the Opposition parties and said those spreading fake news against the KIIFB are the enemies of the state.

"The government will not abandon the developmental projects under KIIFB in the Haripad constituency of the Leader of the Opposition. None of the projects in the constituencies of the opposition members will be halted," Vijayan said.

Isaac had alleged the ED officials were leaking select information and directing the media houses on how to give headlines with regard to the KIIFB and asserted the central agency would not be allowed to undermine the authority of the state government.

The opposition Congress and BJP had targeted Issac and asked why he was opposing the ED probe if the transactions through the KIIFB were transparent.

Isaac had said ED officials may have seen "cowards who shiver" at the drop of the very name of the central agency but asked them not to expect the same in Kerala.

The CAG has reportedly submitted a report to the assembly suggesting that the KIIFB's borrowing model was unconstitutional.

This finding was described as one-sided by Isaac.

KIIFB is the primary agency of the state government for financing large and critical infrastructure projects and had last year raised Rs 2,150 crore through its debut masala bond issue as part of its plan to mobilise Rs 50,000 crore to fund large and critical infrastructure projects in the southern state.

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