Kerala Steered Clear Of Centre Backing: BJP

Thiruvananthapuram, October 17: | Updated: Oct 18 2002, 05:30am hrs
Although the Centre has been lavishing funds on Kerala, the state government has always steered clear of making the best use of it, BJP Kerala general secretary P P Mukundan has said. From the Rs 30-crore share for backward districts to Rs 44-crore allocation for starting plus-two in vocational higher secondary level, the state government has only allowed the Centre funding to lapse, he charged A K Antony government.

When Mr Antony had sought for Rs 3750 crore as its Plan outlay for 2002-2003, the Centre had cleared Rs 4025 crore. Of this, upto September 30, the state government has been able to realise only 11 per cent. Not even when Congress was in government at the Centre had the state enjoyed such extra attention, BJP party secretary claimed.

Not submitting the projects in time and account-switching in fund utilisation have been the bane of Kerala government, according to Mr Mukundan. In power sector, since the setting up of Tariff Regulatory Commission has been delayed by over ten months, the Centre's assistance of Rs 60 crore has been missed. The state has not even claimed its Rs 1.81 crore sanctioned under Vatmiki Ambedkar housing Yojana. In the current financial although Rs 6.83 crore has been offered again, any proposal from the state's side is yet to be made, Mr Mukundan told reporters here.

The response has been the poorest in the agriculture sector. When Prime Minister A B Vajpayee, during his Kumarakom vaction, announced a special scheme under coconut technology mission, Karnataka, which has less coconut cultivation than Kerala, had walked away with Rs 1 crore.

Kerala had been poor in submitting viable projects under the scheme in time.

The result was that the state with 35 lakh coconut farmers had to be satisfied with a bare Rs 16.5 lakh. In the meeting for sanctioning the projects under the scheme, the state government had not even bothered to send a delegate, he pointed out.