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Kerala to campaign against Centre on fiscal management

Written by: Staff

Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 23 (UNI) The Kerala Government will launch a campaign against the Centre's stringent instructions to the state governments on fiscal management, Finance Minister Thomas Issac said.

Talking to newspersons here after a special Cabinet meeting that discussed the state's financial situation, he said such a situation could not be assessed on the basis of surplus in the treasury. The Centre's direction under the Fiscal Management (Responsibility) Act in this regard was highly objectionable.

If the state's fiscal deficit had to be brought down to four per cent from the present 6.4 per cent, no development activities could be taken up. It was not fair on the Centre's part to block assistance to the state government merely as it could not meet the target.

He said there would not be any cut in the annual plan size.

Additional resource mobilisation would be done.

He said the Cabinet took a number of steps to increase revenue mobilisation in the coming months to meet the budget target. If the present trend continued, there would be a shortfall of revenue to the tune of Rs 1000 crore by the year end. He would file a comprehensive report in the next Cabinet meeting, which would take some decisions.

He said the upper salary ceiling for eligibility for festival bonus for employees had been hiked to Rs 5,500 from Rs 5,000 a month. Others would be given festival allowance like in previous years.

UNI CR AA 1841

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