Kerala Kaumudi Online
Wednesday, 27 January 2021 5.10 PM IST

Nothing wrong in Vigilance inspections of KSFE branches: CM


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday justified the searches by the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau at offices of the Kerala State Financial Enterprises and said they were not raids, but inspections, based on the information received by them. The Vigilance Director had on November 10 granted permission to conduct the searches at 40 KSFE branches on November 27, he told reporters here.

The searches had kicked up a storm, with Finance Minister Thomas Isaac criticising the manner in which it was carried out. However, he softened his stand on Monday, saying he did not intend to carry forward the debates in connection with the vigilance action at KSFE.

The ruling CPI(M) had also criticised the searches at around 40 branches and said it would hurt the credibility of the organisation. The KSFE on Monday rejected the Vigilance charge of "serious irregularities" after the raids and said only minor lapses were found in daily business in its internal auditing.

Asked about the vigilance action, Vijayan said when the intelligence wing of the Vigilance receives any information, they conduct the inspection with the permission of its director. The agency will file the report on their findings, based on which steps, including internal audit, internal vigilance enquiry, departmental action or vigilance probe will be initiated, Vijayan said.

"They submit their report to the government to take the decision. The inspection is based on the information received by them. They have the authority to conduct so. There is nothing new in it. However, they cannot take any step based on it.

This is not the first inspection in the last two years. In 2019, 18 such inspections were held at various departments and six this year," he said.

KSFE Chairman Peelipose Thomas earlier in the day said if the Vigilance shared their findings of any other serious lapses, they were ready to look into it. Criticising the Vigilance team which carried out the searches on Saturday, Thomas said the investigating officials did not know even the basic lessons of running the chitties business.

"We have carried out internal auditing in all these branches where the Vigilance conducted the searches. But we could not find any serious lapse in any branch in our auditing, except some minute lapses in day-to-day business," he told reporters in Pathanamthitta.

Justifying the mode of operation of KSFE chitties, Thomas said the agency had not started any business without giving the treasury deposit. Isaac also said he would examine the lapses, pointed out by the media, in connection with the chitties business and was ready to correct it if any mistake was found.

The minister had on Sunday said that the Vigilance action would only help private financial institutions and political opponents. "I have no objection to the raids. But it should be done in a proper manner.

Conducting a vigilance probe, submitting a report to the government and taking action if necessary are normal procedures," he had said.

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