KOCHI: Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala has alleged that majority of the masala bonds floated by the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) were bought by Canadian company CDPQ, which is closely associated with SNC Lavlin, the firm involved in the notorious SNC Lavalin scam.
“The state government has claimed that KIIFB has raised Rs 2150 crore through issuing masala bonds. However, it’s shocking to find that the majority of masala bonds issued at exorbitant interest were purchased by Canadian company CDPQ which has close links with SNC Lavalin. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan should divulge details about this dubious deal to the public,” he said here on Saturday. He alleged that the LDF used to strengthen its deals with Lavalin company whenever it comes to power.
“The masala bond was sold chiefly in two countries-Canada and Singapore. Of this, CDPQ, in which SNC Lavlin has a 20 per cent share, purchased a lion share of the bond at an exorbitant interest rate of 9.5 percentage. The state government should divulge the details of the foreign companies which have taken part in the deal,” he said.
“The government is providing 9.5 per cent of interest from its treasury to the Canadian company in order to help them in a diverted route. This is only the tip of an iceberg of a big corruption and nepotism by the LDF government. I would divulge more after the government responds on this issue,” he said. An appeal lodged by the CBI in SC against the discharge of Pinarayi Vijayan in the SNC Lavalin corruption case was pending before the apex court, said Chennithala.
The corruption case concerns the loss of Rs 86.25 crore in the KSEB’s contract with Lavalin for the renovation and modernisation of hydroelectric projects in Idukki.