Left walks out of Kerala assembly

October 19th, 2011 - 3:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 19 (IANS) 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 Rs.20,000 crore 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 benefited had this amount remained in the treasury,” said Issac.

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 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,” assured Mani.

Leader of 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.”

With the speaker G. Karthikeyan disallowing the adjournment motion, Achuthanandan led the entire opposition in a protest walkout.

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