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As Centre Turns Down Foreign Aid for Kerala, Here's What India's Disaster Management Plan Says

According to Chapter 9 of NDMP that was published in 2016, if the government of a foreign nation willingly offers help, the Centre “may accept the offer”.

News18.com

Updated:August 22, 2018, 10:45 PM IST
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As Centre Turns Down Foreign Aid for Kerala, Here's What India's Disaster Management Plan Says
PM Narendra Modi during a review meeting to take stock of the flood situation in Kochi on Aug 18. (PTI Photo)
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Even as several countries like UAE, Maldives and Qatar have come forward with huge sums as aid to Kerala to help the south Indian state recover from the wide-scale devastation caused by floods, the Centre continues to maintain that it will not accept any financial help from other countries, much to the disappointment of its people.

However, what does India’s National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP) dictate as the country’s position on taking help from other willing nations?

According to Chapter 9 of NDMP that was published in 2016, if the government of a foreign nation willingly offers help, the Centre “may accept the offer”.

It states, “As a matter of policy, the Government of India does not issue any appeal for foreign assistance in the wake of a disaster. However, if the national government of another country voluntarily offers assistance as a goodwill gesture in solidarity with the disaster victims, the Central Government may accept the offer.”

Sources in the Union government have said that while declining to accept the assistance, India has conveyed its appreciation to the foreign nations for their offers of help.

However, both the state government in Kerala and opposition leaders have come out to openly lash at the Modi government for turning down foreign aid in time of need.

The flood-ravaged state has suffered mammoth losses to the tune of Rs 20,000 crore and has received Rs 600 crore in aid from the Centre against its demand of Rs 2,600 crore.

While the UAE has offered USD 100 million (around Rs 700 crore) as financial assistance to Kerala, Qatar has pledged around Rs 35 crore and Maldives has announced a donation of USD 50,000 (Rs 35 lakh).

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), in its latest statement, has said, ““The Government of India deeply appreciates offers from several countries, including from foreign governments, to assist in relief and rehabilitation efforts after the tragic floods.

In line with the existing policy, the Government is committed to meeting the requirements for relief and rehabilitation through domestic efforts. Contributions to the Prime Minister's Relief Fund and the Chief Minister's Relief Fund from NRIs, PIOs and international entities such as foundations would, however, be welcome.”

The Kerala government is clearly unhappy over the Centre's decision not to accept donations from foreign governments for flood relief operations.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday said the state government would approach Prime Minister Narendra Modi to clear hurdles, if any, in receiving the flood relief aid offered to the state by the United Arab Emirates.
| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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