KIIFB row:  Kerala Finance minister hits out at ED

Thiruvananthapuram, November 28

Kerala Finance Minister TM Thomas Isaac on Saturday lashed out at the Enforcement Directorate (ED) which has reportedly initiated a probe against the state-run KIIFB over borrowing from international markets, saying the agency was interfering in a politically motivated manner.

He was reacting to media reports which claimed the ED got a reply from the RBI that the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) has obtained approval to borrow funds from international markets.

The agency had earlier sought information from the RBI regarding its no-objection certificate to the board to borrow funds from international markets.

“KIIFB had applied to the RBI, sought permission through letters, and we were granted permission. The ED has demeaned itself into (sic) an institution which engages in politically motivated interference,” Isaac told the media.

He reiterated his earlier allegation that the ED was leaking select details to the media and his claim on the message sent by the officials to the media was not denied by the agency.

The CAG had submitted a report to the assembly suggesting that the KIIFB’s borrowing model was unconstitutional.

Isaac had earlier described as one-sided the CAG finding that the state-run investment fund board’s borrowing model was unconstitutional.

KIIFB is the primary agency of the state government for financing large and critical infrastructure projects and had last year raised Rs 2,150 crore through its debut masala bond issue as part of its plan to mobilise Rs 50,000 crore to fund large and critical infrastructure projects in the southern state. — PTI


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