Kerala Left Opposition cries foul over payroll plan

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Old 20-Oct-2011
Kerala Left Opposition cries foul over payroll plan

Thiruvananthapuram: The Left opposition Wednesday walked out of the Kerala assembly protesting the state government's decision to disburse salaries and pensions to its employees through three private sector banks, while the government said it was following the previous Left government's policy.

The three new generation "tech savvy" banks that will now disburse salary and pension benefits are ICICI, HDFC and Axis Bank.

"Through this, approximately Rs200 billion (Dh14.7 billion) in a year which would have been transacted through the government treasury would now move into new generation banks... These banks have no commitment to our state," former finance minister Thomas Isaac said, while seeking leave for an adjournment motion.

"The state government would have benefitted had this amount remained in the treasury," Issac said.

Setting the trend

Issac as finance minister in 2009 had allowed public sector banks to disburse the salaries and pensions of government employees but in 2010, he revoked that order, said incumbent Finance Minister K.M. Mani.

"We assure the house that this is a facility for only disbursement of salary and pension and no other financial transaction of the state government would be handed over to the three new generation banks," Mani said.

Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan said: "A good amount of commission will now reach some. At a later stage I will reveal who are going to benefit from this... the government should not allow these banks to flourish, instead strengthen the government treasury."

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