LDF ruined state’s finances: Mukherjee

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The Union Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, on Sunday said that Kerala had landed in a debt trap because of financial mismanagement by the CPI(M)-led LDF government in the last five years.

West Bengal was in an even worse situation and if the LDF slogan of ‘continuity’ was heeded, then Kerala would end up in a similar situation, he said.

Talking to mediapersons at the KPCC headquarters here, Mr Mukherjee reeled out statistics to show that Kerala's fiscal deficit was high when compared to neighbouring Tamil Nadu. As on March 31, 2010, the outstanding debt of Kerala was Rs 70,193 crore. “I have to say that the state is in a debt trap,” the Union Finance Minister said.

Mr Mukherjee said that the LDF government in the state had miserably failed to implement the plan in
the last five years. In every year, there was a shortfall of almost Rs 300 core in plan implementation, the minister said.

As far as externally aided projects were concerned, Kerala had spent only Rs 648 crore of the Rs 1,448 crore that was allotted. The state had spent only Rs 81 crore of the Rs 485 crore allotted for JNNURM, said the finance minister. He added that West Bengal was running on overdraft for 294 of 365 days.

“If the LDF slogan is correct, then West Bengal should have been the most developed state,” he added.

Mr Mukherjee also termed as ridiculous the allegation by Mr Achuthanandan, that UDF leaders stashed away black money abroad.

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