FinMin Balagopal vows to back pension firm, Opposition doubts it

Satheesan said the Opposition had warned the government about OBBs much earlier.

Published: 08th July 2022 03:05 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th July 2022 03:05 AM   |  A+A-

Kerala Finance Minister KN Balagopal

Kerala Finance Minister KN Balagopal

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The UDF on Thursday cornered the state government in the assembly over the withdrawal of monetary support to Kerala Social Security Pension Limited (KSSPL). Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan and Mathew Kuzhalnadan locked horns with Finance Minister KN Balagopal during the discussion on an adjournment motion notice moved by Kuzhalnadan.

TNIE, in a series of reports, had highlighted the government’s decision to withdraw support for the special purpose vehicle (SPV) under the finance department that had the mandate to provide social security pension for 52 lakh beneficiaries.Pointing out the government’s recent amendments to the 2018 order on KSSPL’s formation, Kuzhalnadan said the withdrawal from repayment liabilities of the SPV had sparked concerns among pensioners.

Though Balagopal claimed the government will provide guarantee to the company’s borrowings, the Opposition remained unconvinced.Kuzhalnadan said the government’s U-turn was due to the Centre’s strict stand that off-budget borrowings (OBBs) will be considered while fixing the net borrowing ceiling (NBC) of the state for 2022-23.

“The state withdrew guarantees and other support to avoid a cut in NBC, not for helping KSSPL as the government order claims,” he said. The MLA also said the state’s actual debt was much higher than Balagopal’s recent claim of `3.89 lakh crore. “You admitted another `1 lakh crore, including the borrowings of Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) and other instruments, as the state’s debt before the Centre. The total liability is about to touch `5 lakh crore,” he said. 

State passing on burden to people, says Satheesan

Satheesan said the Opposition had warned the government about OBBs much earlier. “KIIFB and other institutions make borrowings on the basis of the government’s guarantee. Ultimately, these will have to be counted in the budget and would become the state’s liability. In such a scenario, OBBs lose relevance. That’s exactly what happened,” he said.

He said the government gave `13,662.47 crore to KSSPL from the consolidated fund - tax paid by people. “KIIFB too is given money from this. All liabilities of KIIFB are the liabilities of the government. The state is passing on this burden to people,” he said. The state is headed towards financial crisis, Satheesan said.

Finance Minister K N Balagopal drew flak from the Opposition for his remarks against Mathew Kuzhalnadan, when the latter cited Centre’s letter to Kerala on the revised borrowing guidelines.
A visibly irked Balagopal said Kuzhalnadan might be getting the Centre’s letters in secret. “He is flaunting a letter as if it was sent by an uncle. Is the Centre your uncle?” he asked.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp