THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Almost two weeks after the payment row related to CMRL erupted, the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC), which has a 13.41 per cent stake in CMRL, has sought a ‘clarification’ from the latter. However, the CMRL has yet to give a response. CMRL is a public-listed chemical company founded in 1989 by S N Sasidharan Kartha with the assistance of KSIDC.
A nominee of KSIDC is also included in its director board. In its statement before the Income Tax Interim Board for Settlement, CMRL informed that Rs 1.72 crore was paid by CMRL to Exalogic Solutions Pvt Ltd owned by T Veena, daughter of the chief minister.
The CMRL has also informed that over the past five years, Rs 134. 27 crore was given as cash payments to politicians, bureaucrats, media and police personnel. KSIDC, which is one of the best PSUs in the state, sprang into action and as a face-saving gesture, sought ‘clarification’ from CMRL. R Prasanth, general manager (project financing), KSIDC, told TNIE that they have sought ‘clarification’ on the veracity of Sasidharan Kartha giving monthly payments to a plethora of people which pushed CMRL into a loss-making entity.
“We sought clarification from CMRL as a shareholder and not based on newspaper reports. Normally, KSID C does not interfere in the day-to-day affairs of CMRL as the stakes (13.41 per cent) are less. If the stakes are above 26 per cent, then we would have intervened.
Our principal objective has been met - to bring investments to the state. KSIDC’s reputation has not been affected and, in fact, it’s the KMRL that is at the receiving end now. The ball is in the state government’s court and it is the KSIDC director board that has to take a call on whether the PSUs stakes should be withdrawn following the current controversy,” said Prasanth, who is also the head of the Kochi division of KSIDC.