Ker Assembly: LDF walkout over panel report on public spending

 Kerala Public Expenditure Review Committee's report suggesting revision of salaries and pension of government staff once in ten years came in for flak from opposition LDF members in state Assembly, leading to their walkout.

Though Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Finance Minister K M Mani said the report, placed in the Assembly yesterday, had no status of recommendations, it failed to satisfy the LDF members who alleged that the Congress-led UDF government was pro-globalisation.

Replying to a notice for an adjournment motion moved by the LDF on the issue, Chandy said the committee, appointed under the Kerala Fiscal Responsibility Act, had only reviewed the state's fiscal position in 2010-11 and made certain suggestions.

Stating that there was no room for any anxiety over the report, he said government was not going to agree to most of the suggestions.

"It is surprising that Opposition has come out with an adjournment motion on the report even before the government took any decision on its implementation," Chandy said.

Seeking leave for a debate on the issue, CPI(M)'s S Sharma said the panel's suggestions if implemented would have serious consequences.

Besides recommending revision of salaries and pension once in ten years as at the Centre, the report suggested outsourcing of certain government works, reduce grant-in-aid to educational institutions, allowing educational institutions in private sectors and introducing participatory pension system, Sharma said.

"These were actually the hidden agenda of globalisation," he charged.Speaker G Karthikeyan disallowed the motion after Chandy's reply, following which the LDF members walked out of the House.

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