Kerala FM lashes out at Centre for cutting down state's borrowing limit by half

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Kerala finance minister K N Balagopal | Photo: Mathrubhumi

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Finance Minister K N Balagopal on Friday hit out at the BJP-led union government for cutting down the borrowing limit of the southern state by half and accused the Centre of "targetting" it.

The minister said the state was expecting Rs 32,442 crores when the Centre had cut down the borrowing limit from 3.5 percent to 3 percent.

But a recent letter from the central government has put the borrowing limit to Rs 15,390 crores, which is half of what Kerala is entitled to borrow, he alleged.

"The move is part of the union government's political vendetta," Balagopal said.

The Centre is denying the federal rights of a state, he further said and added that no reason was given for cutting down the borrowing limit by half.

Expressing concern over whether the development would affect the budget plans of the southern state, he said people are going to suffer as the Centre is denting Kerala's rightful share.

The union government has been cutting down funds to Kerala while providing upto 55 percent to some other states, the minister alleged.

Kerala is spending about 60 percent of its revenue expenditure through its own resources, he said.

However, the state is confident of not letting people suffer due to the "forced financial crunch" created by the union government.

He also urged people to protest against the Centre for "targeting" Kerala.

In a Facebook post later, the Finance Minister said he was registering strong protest against the Centre's action slashing down the borrowing limit of the state.

He alleged that the central government has been deliberately denying or cutting down the grants and loans of the state for some time.

He termed the Centre's action as a challenge against the people of the state and charged that the political motive behind the move was to disrupt the welfare and development programmes of Kerala.

In the FB post, the minister also urged people, cutting across politics, to stand together to protest this and to protect the interest of the state.


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