THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The discussion on the Budget for the year 2012-13 presented by Finance Minister K M Mani had a smooth sail on Tuesday with members enjoying the luxury of making digressions as they wished.
As the Chair allowed them to continue their speech more than double the stipulated time, members went on make lengthy speeches. The majority of them did not make any effort to seriously study the impact of the proposals.
Deputy Speaker N Sakthan proved himself to be unmatched in eulogizing the Finance minister. At one stage, he said if K M Mani was in the Congress e would have been presenting Union Budget in Parliament instead of presenting the 10th state budget provoking CPM MLA V Sivankutty to gesture that Shakthan was buttering up to Mani.
V D Satheesan of the Congress was amazed at the beauty of the draft and balance of the Budget.
T M Thomas Isaac, after finding it tough to build up a case against Mani, opted for his forte and attacked Mani saying that the latter had not applied his mind to utilise the advantage of availing of more loans for starting development projects as there was approval for keeping the fiscal deficit at 3.5 percent.
‘’Mani Sir is boasting that he is keeping the fiscal deficit at 2.74 percent. But if you had availed of the advantage of utilising the approved fiscal deficit, you could have found Rs 3000 crore more and brightened the faces of all the MLAs,’’ he said.
Isaac said Mani wanted to create a feeling that Kerala faced a financial crisis. Even the Central Government has a fiscal deficit of 5.1 percent. At one stage, Isaac even threatened to stage a satygraha for not including the cleaning up works of the junkyard at south Mararikulam under the MGNREGS.
Abdul Samad Samadani recited the lines from Edasseri’s poetry when he urged the government to set up a memorial for Edasseri at Kuttippuram.
P Ubaidulla of the Muslim League wanted a memorial for M N Vijayan who he said was forgotten by the CPM.
Former Agriculture Minister Mullakkara Ratnakaran was vociferous in his criticism about Mani’s proposal to set up greenhouses in all panchayats without any discretion.
He pointed out that Mani was espousing the policy of high-tech farming which had been rejected by European countries and Israel.
He expressed dismay in wasting Rs 45 crore for greenhouse farming in 120 hectares when this would have been sufficient for promoting vegetable cultivation in 10,000 hectares.