BJP leader Sandeep Warrier rubbished former finance minister Thomas Isaac’s figures on the Department of Economics & Statistics’ release of Kerala’s state GDP for 2021-22. Among the 14 states that receive revenue deficit grants in the country, the top 3 are Kerala, Bengal and Tripura. He said that he remembers how Arun Jaitley took a class to Yechury in the Rajya Sabha in the past, how these three states have become permanently low income states.

Full text of Sandeep Warrier’s Facebook post:

“Kerala economy has come out of the covid crash. The Department of Economics & Statistics has released the State GDP estimate for 2021-22. Accordingly, Kerala’s economic growth in 2021-22 is 12.07 percent. National GDP growth is 8.7 percent”

This is the claim made by Mr. Thomas Isaac, the only living economist in the state, on his Facebook page the other day.
What is the relationship between this claim and reality? In fact, have the Malayalis experienced this growth? What is the economic situation of Kerala? Among the 14 states that receive revenue deficit grants in the country, the top 3 are Kerala, Bengal and Tripura. It recalls how Arun Jaitley took a class to Yechury in the Rajya Sabha in the past, how these three states have become chronically low-income states.

The rest are small states in the north east and Andhra Pradesh which lost revenue due to financial resources going to Telangana after partition. Like Kerala, Punjab and Rajasthan are in the list and are in debt due to playing populist politics.
Every month, the central government gives about 1097 crore rupees to Kerala exchequer as revenue deficit grant. It is also noteworthy that the state orders wasteful expenditure on the days when this money comes into the exchequer. Buying new cars, building a swimming pool in a cliff house, building a cowshed, foreign tours with the family etc. are all the activities of the leftist government doing the nation reconstruction because of this help given by the centre.

The capsule should not come out saying that the revenue deficit grant is not a bounty but a right. Because the Center does not provide any assistance to neighboring Tamil Nadu or Karnataka or class enemies Gujarat or UP.
Why was there a revenue deficit? Because revenue generation is not happening. This is where the hollowness of Thomas Isaac’s growth claim comes to light. If there is growth than the national average, shouldn’t that growth be seen in revenue generation? In which project has your KIFB invested in the state which is capable of generating revenue? In case of national highway land acquisition, 75 percent of the cost is borne by the central government. As claimed by Thomas Isaac, if the money spent by KIFB on land acquisition is a stimulus to the financial sector, shouldn’t Narendra Modi and Nitin Gadkari applaud?

Economist had said that if GST is implemented, the income of Kerala, which is a consumer state, will increase. The SGST collected by Kerala last October was Rs 2485 crore. At the same time neighboring Karnataka got Rs 10996 crore and Tamil Nadu got Rs 9540 crore. As a consumer state, Kerala should be able to reasonably collect more GST. Neither economists nor successors have tried to increase the tax base. Officials from the state finance minister’s office are getting phone calls to get rid of the horrific GST fraud centered around plywood factories in Perumbavoor. Just an example.

“Kerala’s debt is sustainable. This is another claim of Thomas Isaacs in the same post, “The investment we made by taking loans brought Kerala up”. Yes, sir, the loan taken through masala bond should be repaid next year? Then you will be seen here singing the anti-central refrain that nobody has given you anything, right?
“Lies, damned lies, and statistics” … lies, damned lies, and statistics. Thomas Isaac has joined forces with statistics to hide the left policy paralysis that has devastated Kerala economically. The hollowness of it will be shown openly.

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