KN Balagopal | Photo: Mathrubhumi
Thiruvananthapuram: The financial position of Kerala seems to have reached a point of no return as the state treasury is virtually dry with fresh restrictions now coming in place that a special sanction is needed to clear any payment above Rs 1 million. Hence state Finance Minister K.N. Balagopal is knocking at the door of the Centre for funds.
As an urgent measure, Balagopal has written to the Centre to exempt the loan repayment availed by the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) while granting credit, and if that happens Balagopal expects to get some minor relief from the crisis that he is facing now.
He expects Rs 2,000 crore could be availed if the Centre grants his request.
With just 34 days left for the current fiscal to end, Balagopal needs around Rs 20,000 crore to tide over the crisis, and unlike his predecessor, the economist-turned-Finance Minister Thomas Isaac, Balagopal seems to unable to do justice to his post.
And with the Centre and Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman sticking to the rules, getting the much-needed funds has become even more tough for Balagopal, a first-time legislator and totally new to the post of Finance Minister.
A media critic said on condition of anonymity that unlike Isaac, Balagopal is new to his role as Finance Minister. Being a politician who rose from the ranks of a student leader, Balagopal might find it difficult to tackle the financial crisis looming large over the state.
Balagopal is hoping now that the Centre will come to his rescue, but if it doesn't, it would be interesting to see how he handles the situation. IANS