The ruling Left government in Kerala has conveyed to the High Court that the state is presently facing a “significant financial challenge.” This statement was presented to the court via an affidavit in a case concerning the repayment of a depositor of the Kerala Transport Development Finance Corporation (KTDFC) Ltd.
The government asserted, “Our state is currently encountering a period of financial constraints. Any financial benefits must be considered within the government’s available financial resources.”
However, the High Court expressed reservations about this assertion and raised questions about whether Kerala was genuinely confronting a financial emergency.
In the affidavit, the state also proposed that both the KTDFC and the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) could address their financial issues by leveraging their properties or selling a portion of their assets to external parties or government agencies. Unfortunately, no concrete actions have been taken by KTDFC or KSRTC in this regard. These entities collectively possess immovable assets valued at approximately ₹1,000 crore in the state.
Moreover, the government claimed that despite the considerable financial challenges, it has disbursed ₹8,440.02 crore to KSRTC for various expenses from the fiscal year 2018-19 up to October 15, 2023. The government stressed that while it provides support to Public Sector Undertakings, including KSRTC, in various ways, it is not legally obligated to offer financial assistance for their day-to-day operations.
This affidavit was filed in response to a petition by a private company seeking government intervention to instruct KTDFC to release the funds deposited by the petitioner’s company.
This development occurs amidst Keraleeyam 2023, a week-long grand celebration announced by the Left government to showcase Kerala’s progress, accomplishments, and cultural heritage to the world, beginning on Wednesday. The Congress-led UDF opposition chose to boycott the event, alleging excessive expenditure by the Left administration at a time when the state is grappling with a severe financial crisis.