Thiruvananthapuram: In a shocking revelation, it has come to light that the Rs 130 crores that were collected by the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) from its employees through the 'salary challenge' for the Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF), are yet to be handed over, and only Rs 10 crores have been deposited so far.
This was admitted by KSEB Chairman N.S.Pillai on Monday. He said that the money would soon be handed over to the CMDRF.
"We have remitted only Rs 10 crores and it must not be forgotten that KSEB is always in the red as we have to get huge outstanding from various state run organisations. We later felt that instead of giving an amount every month, we should hand over the money as a lump sum amount in one go," said Pillai. He added that even before the salary challenge was announced, KSEB had given Rs 50 crores for flood relief.
The salary challenge was announced by the Chief Minister himself soon after the state was hit by the century's worst floods last August.
All the state government employees were asked to contribute three days' salary every month for 10 months. The collection started from September 2018 and ended in June 2019. The total amount collected was Rs 140 crores. Going by Pillai's statement, the amount of Rs 130 crores should have been handed over to the CMDRF by now but so far this has not happened.
Reacting to this, senior Congress legislator and former State Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan told the media that this is nothing but corruption as this is a clear case of violation of the state financial code procedures.
"Now all what we need to hear is, will action be taken against this gross violation. We demand that a white paper on CMDRF be brought out by the government. If this is the case with KSEB, one thinks that there can be several similar cases, and hence a white paper is a must," said Radhakrishnan.