Published: Thu, August 23, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Autarky: Centre rejects UAE financial aid for flood-hit Kerala

Autarky: Centre rejects UAE financial aid for flood-hit Kerala

However, India is unlikely to accept any foreign financial assistance for Kerala, official sources said, adding that the government has taken a considered decision to rely exclusively on domestic efforts to tide over the situation, according to a PTI report. The centre had rejected foreign financial assistance when Uttarakhand was ravaged by floods in 2013, killing more than 4,000 people. Qatar has offered a help of Rs 35 crore. "We are following the policy since 2004, and have been turning down assistance from foreign governments since then". Citing NDMP's provision of accepting aid given by a foreign government during severe calamity, Isaac said the Centre has still chosen to adopt a negative stance towards the UAE offer.

According to the Disaster Management State Control room, 231 people have lost their lives and 32 are missing in flood-related incidents since August 8.

India's refusal to accept foreign aid for relief work in flood-battered Kerala has touched a raw nerve, with leaders of political parties in the state pressing the Centre to review the decision.

The state's Finance Minister Thomas Isaac has been even more vociferous in his protests. With the present rule, it may not be possible to accept the $100 million announced by the UAE government for Kerala.

An Indian woman watches residents walking through flood streets next to their marooned houses on the outskirts of Kozhikode district, about 385 km north of Trivandrum in the south Indian state of Kerala, on August 17, 2018. They cited the National Disaster Management Plan's chapter 9, which deals with worldwide cooperation.

Modi has promised more aid and his government said late on Wednesday that would come through "domestic efforts".

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The state claims that the situation in Kerala fits the bill. The death toll has crossed 300 and the state has pegged the overall damage at over Rs 21,000 crore.

However, the state has been getting help from across the national and worldwide community, and the Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund has received Rs 318 crore in donations till Thursday.

In addition, several states - not just the biggies like Maharashtra, UP and the Southern states, but also Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir and Manipur - have reportedly also pitched in with financial aid.

The Chief Minister's Disaster Relief Fund (CMDRF) had received donations to the tune of Rs 309 crore till last evening through online and deposits in the special SBI account.

Schools throughout Kerala remained closed on Wednesday but are set to reopen next week, Krishnan added, following the conclusion of the state's annual Hindu harvest festival.

In one of the tweets, Pinarayi had said, "The state has a privileged relationship with the UAE".

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