FM criiticises Kerala government for lack of fiscal discipline

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New Delhi, Nov 5 (UNI) Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram today accused the Marxist-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) Kerala government headed by Mr V S Achuthanandan of ''not adhering to financial discipline''.

In an exclusive interview to Kerala-based private Malayalam satellite television channel 'Jai Hind TV', he denied the claim of the state government that the Centre had insisted on Kerala taking loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

''No body forces any state to take loans. If a state wants to take a loan from the World Bank or the ADB or any other bilateral agency, that is a decision taken by the state government only. We don't force any state government to take loans,'' he said in the interview broadcast today.

He, however, pointed out that the states should adhere to the Centre's guidelines.

''Kerala is a financially weak state. So, it must adhere to financial discipline and try to find more resources and control expenditure. Unfortunately, in each of these areas, Kerala is lagging,'' Mr Chidambaram said, while adding that the southern state could not pass the blame onto the Centre.

In a strong reaction to the financial woes of Kerala, Mr Chidambaram told the channel, which is managed by the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee, that ''its problems are its own creations''/ Rejecting the campaign of the Achuthanandan government that the Centre was not extending any help to the state to overcome its fiscal crisis, he said, ''what is due to the state government is the share of taxes, which are distributed according to the provisions of the Constitution''.

In this context, he said, ''nobody can stop even a rupee from the Centre going to the state in accordance with the Constitution,'' wjhile adding that Kerala has been given a ''large plan'' also.

''In fact, some people think that the plan size is too large. But, they cannot pass the blame onto the Centre,'' he said.

In this context, he pointed out that the norms were drawn up at the national level after consultations with all the states.

''Kerala alone can't take a different view. If a scheme is implemented in other states of India, then there is no reason why that scheme shouldn't be implemented in Kerala,'' Mr Chidambaram said.

UNI

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