Finance dept expressed disagreement in e-mobility contract; documents come to light
Thiruvananthapuram: Finance Minister Dr Thomas Isaac's statement that the finance department had not opposed signing the e-mobility contract has been proved wrong. The details showing disagreement of the finance department in the contract have come to light.
E-mobility project for purchasing 3000 electric buses was introduced before the finance department as a joint venture of Swiss company Hess and public sector company Kerala Electrical and Allied Engineering Co. Ltd. (KEL). The file was submitted to the finance department on August 8, 2019.
The notes written by the then Additional Chief Secretary on the file has been brought to light now. The response of the chief secretary also can be seen with this. The finance department had made it clear that it has disagreement with the project. As the contract is made with a foreign company, many things have to be clarified especially regarding the financial gains.
As per the contract, the government intends to buy 3000 e-buses. The price of one bus is mentioned as an amount between Rs 1 crore and 1.5 crore. Then total expense would amount to Rs 4500 crore-6000 crore. The department raised doubt whether the state could manage this.
Also the department was doubtful about the condition that the Swiss company would invest here. It also stated that making contract with KEL accepting the conditions of the Swiss company is not possible under current circumstances, the department pointed out.
The additional chief secretary also forwarded a letter to the minister mentioning these points. However, Thomas Isaac told the media the other day that the finance department had not opposed e-mobility project. The documents found now proves his claims to be wrong.