Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac today discounted rumours about mounting financial liabilities of the State.
He told the Kerala Assembly on Friday that what was presented was not a full budget. He admitted errors in public debt figures in budget-in-brief documents.
The debt in 2016-17 and 2017-18 was printed as 34.19 per cent and 38.51, respectively, in the document whereas the actual figures was 30.25 per cent and 30.69. The actual figures were printed in another page, he added.
Isaac, known for his acumen with figures, a day ago did ‘wonders' by announcing a Rs 500-crore package for Idukki district which was badly hit by the August flood. Six days after he presented his budget and people from the district being felt ignored, and even his party comrade and cabinet colleague MM Mani left dejected and agitated, Isaac, like a magician, readied the package without any fresh expenditure.
He brought different schemes, including Central ones, and programmes in different heads and grouped under the Idukki package.
Regarding debt, the 12th Finance Commission has directed that liabilities can be up to 30 per cent of the GDP. It has been declining for the past two years and interest expense was 12-13 per cent when it could be up to 15 per cent of the revenue expenditure. Hence, financial liabilities of the State were not as critical as being spread, Isaac added.