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Cong seeks probe into Vijayan govt keeping CAG report under wraps

Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 15 (IANS) The Congress on Monday asked Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to come clean and order a probe into why a CAG special audit report on KIIFB that came out a few months ago was kept under wraps for so long.

The special audit report on KIIFB came out in April this year, but the Vijayan government kept it under wraps, accused V.D. Satheesan, the leader of Opposition. He said this report saw daylight only because of an RTI plea.

"The government had placed the CAG report in the Assembly last week, but even though the special audit report is not required to be placed before the Assembly, all wish to know why it was not made public. Now it has come out through an RTI query and the report speaks volumes of numerous discrepancies and violations. It is clear that the Vijayan government did not want people to know of it and hence it was kept under wraps. We demand a probe into this," said Satheesan.

The Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) was established as the principal funding arm of the Government of Kerala in 1999.

The objective of KIIFB is to channelise funds for critical and large public infrastructure projects in the state and it was during the first term of the Pinarayi Vijayan government, the then economist turned Finance Minister Thomas Isaac gave it a new face and began off-budget borrowings.

Incidentally, the special audit report into the activities of KIIFB, according to Satheesan, revealed a few 'shady activities' which had led to the loss for exchequer and the basic rules that have to be followed were also not followed.

State BJP president K.Surendran said now that it has been revealed why Issac early this year had gone hammer and tongs against the CAG.

"He knew that this special audit report when it comes out will cause problems as the discrepancies will cause a dent to the image of the Vijayan government. And that's why he was then fiercely attacking the CAG, like none has ever done," said Surendran.

Incidentally, it must be recalled that the Kerala Assembly in January this year passed a resolution against the CAG report (which termed the off-budget borrowings through Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) as unconstitutional).