Former chief secy Tom Jose, finance secy opposed KIIFB masala bond; evidence comes to light


Prashanth Krishna / Mathrubhumi News

Finance minister Thomas Isaac opined that though interest rate is high, the opportunity to enter a foreign market can be utilised and this will benefit KIIFB in the long run.

Former chief secretary Tom Jose | Photo: Mathrubhumi

Thiruvananthapuram: The Masala bond issued by the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) was opposed by the then chief secretary Tom Jose and finance secretary Manoj Joshy. Mathrubhumi News received the documents to prove this.

The masala bond was included as 14th agenda in the 34th general body convened under the leadership of the chief minister on October 2, 2018. KIIFB CEO Dr K M Abraham sought permission of the board to accumulate fund by issuing masala bond in the London Stock Exchange.

Manoj Joshy asked in the meeting why they should issue masala bond for high interest rate when it is possible to raise fund by issuing bond for a less interest rate within the country.

Tom Jose asked why the interest rate of masala bond remains high while the interest rate is generally low in the foreign markets. He said that better interest rates can be known by checking old data of exchange rate.

However, board members Sushil Khanna and R K Nair supported the bond and suggested to proceed with issuing the same. Finance minister Thomas Isaac opined that though interest rate is high, the opportunity to enter a foreign market can be utilised and this will benefit KIIFB in the long run.

Earlier, the opposition had alleged that the then chief secretary and finance secretary had opposed the masala bond. The documents that came to light now prove this was right.

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