Opposition to bring white paper on poor finances

Thiruvananthapuram: The Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) is working on a 'white paper' on the exact state of Kerala's finances, a top Congress leader said on Wednesday.

Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala told reporters that the state's finances were precariously placed. "A team of UDF legislators led by senior Congress legislator V.D.Satheesan is preparing a white paper on the state's finances. We expect it to be published shortly," he said.

Chennithala said that the state's financial position was so precarious that the local bodies' functioning had been badly affected due to paucity of funds.

"The local bodies are being allocated funds that should have been given in the last financial year. Add to that every local body has been asked to extend 20 per cent of its funds to state government's ambitious "Project Life", which means as of today 50 per cent of the allocation for the financial year has gone. This is going to bring to a grinding halt the functioning of the local bodies," said Chennithala.

"Project LIFE (Livelihood, Inclusion, Financial Empowerment)" envisages providing home to every homeless in Kerala.

The Congress leader also pointed out that the present Pinarayi Vijayan government was fleecing the people of the state.

"A huge price rise is in the offing from August 1, when a special 'Flood Cess' gets levied. The power tariff has already been hiked by over 11 per cent and the Union budget has also increased the price of fuel. Overall, Kerala will be moving forward under difficult times and the Vijayan government has been able to do nothing to bring about any solace," added Chennithala.

To highlight people's woes, the state Opposition would hold a state-level protest on July 15 and will then stage a day-long protest in front of the state secretariat on July 18.

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