'Union Minister is misleading...' Kerala CM responds to FM Nirmala Sitharaman over welfare pension allocation
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan accused the Union Finance Minister of misrepresenting the facts and withholding the welfare pension allocation for three-and-a-half years.
Thiruvananthapuram: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan responded to Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman who criticized Kerala regarding centre allocation. The Chief Minister accused the Union Finance Minister of misrepresenting the facts and withholding the welfare pension allocation for three-and-a-half years.
The CM stated that with the introduction of GST, the tax share has been reduced to a large extent. Since 2018, various amounts due from the Center have been delayed. The Center has belatedly given the amount paid by the state in the form of UGC grant. The money was given when the criticism intensified. From time to time we have to take a loan. The Center is taking the approach of suffocating the country. The Union Finance Minister does not give any explanation on these matters. The chief minister accused that there is no clarity in what is being said.
The Union Finance Minister's argument was that there is false propaganda going on in Kerala regarding the central allocation and that the exact amount has been allotted in all the applications of the state till October. She stated "All states are being paid on time. All applications till October have been paid. No application has been received since then. The Finance Department has been asked to submit an accurate proposal for central allocation to the states. Requested twice but no reply. Kerala changes the names of schemes after getting central allocations. Those who have fulfilled the directions of the 15th Finance Commission have been allotted a definite grant."
The Finance Minister claimed that Rs 34,714 crore has been allocated to the state. This is not generosity. It is the share that Kerala should get. Even half of the loss to the state has not been redressed. It is understood that Kerala will not get anything in the form of revenue deficit grant in the next two years. The tax share distributed to the states is decreasing. Kerala has to bear huge losses. It is the government that has reduced Rs 57400 crore.
Earlier this month, Kerala Finance Minister KN Balagopal stated that the central government was withholding funds that were due for the social welfare pension scheme. He noted that the central government did not provide sufficient reasons for this withholding of funds.