THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday denied reports that he had told a Union Minister that the state does not require any more Central assistance to tide over the losses caused by the recent natural calamity. He was responding to a statement reported by Union Minister V Muraleedharan that the Chief Minister had told Union MoS for Home Affairs Nityananda Rai that the state had ‘enough’ Central funds in its possession and more assistance was not required.
“It’s true that the Union Minister called me. As I could not follow Hindi, I directed my private secretary to speak to his counterpart in Delhi. Other than conveying to the minister that I cannot understand Hindi, I did not have any conversation with him. I am not sure how Muraleedharan misunderstood the entire episode,” Pinarayi said.
Responding to the charge that the state did not spend the allocation given by the Centre last year for flood relief, Pinarayi said the government cannot spend the entire amount at one go. The amount is spent in phases based on work carried out, he clarified.
He asserted that the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF) was transparent and subject to scrutiny by the Comptroller and Auditor General and also the state assembly. He urged people to reject the false campaign that CMDRF was being diverted for other purposes and contribute generously towards the fund. Strict action will be taken against people who create accounts similar to CMDRF and swindle funds from the public.
‘Can’t link non-implementation of Gadgil recommendations with disasters’
T’Puram: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the state government does not subscribe to the view that neglect of the Gadgil committee recommendations has aggravated the impact of natural calamities in the state. “Only after examining the exact reasons (for the calamity) can we reach a conclusion,” he said. On whether the government would consider implementing the recommendations in the wake of recurring disasters, Pinarayi said the government would consider “all recommendations” placed before it.
Govt announces AID to journalist’s family
T’Puram: The state government has announced a financial aid of D6 lakh to the family of journalist KM Basheer and a government job for his widow. Basheer, Thiruvananthapuram bureau chief of ‘Siraj’ daily, was killed in a road accident involving IAS officer Sriram Venkataraman on August 3. The cabinet decided to provide Rs 2 lakh each to Basheer’s mother and two children.
Cabinet approves minor reshuffle of bureaucrats
T’Puram: The cabinet approved a minor reshuffle of top bureaucrats. Local Self-Government (Rural) principal secretary Sarada Muraleedharan will be posted as principal secretary, SC/ST Development Department. She will also hold the additional charge of LSG (Rural) Department and Backward Classes Development Department. SC/ST Development Department principal secretary A Jayathilak will be made principal secretary, Planning and Economic Affairs Department.
He will hold the additional charge of Member Secretary, Kerala State Planning Board and Sports and Youth Welfare Department. Information and Public Relations Department secretary P Venugopal will hold the additional charge of Sainik Welfare Department, Printing and Stationery Department. The cabinet also to lease 50 cents of land at Cheruthazham village in Kalyasseri for 30 years to the Cultural Department for setting up a theatre complex. Also, the borrowing limit of Supplyco will be increased by Rs 500 crore and fixed at Rs 1,425 crore.