GET Stock QuotesNews18 APP
News18 English
Powered by cricketnext logo
»
3-min read

Centre Says Thanks But No Thanks to Foreign Aid for Flood-Hit Kerala, Will Provide Relief on Its Own

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the government was committed to meeting the requirements for relief and rehabilitation in Kerala through domestic efforts.

News18.com

Updated:August 23, 2018, 12:00 AM IST
facebookTwittergoogleskypewhatsapp
Centre Says Thanks But No Thanks to Foreign Aid for Flood-Hit Kerala, Will Provide Relief on Its Own
National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel carry out rescue operations at a flood-affected region following heavy rainfall in Kerala. (Image: News18/Vikas Thakur)
Loading...
New Delhi: The central government made it clear on Wednesday that it will not accept any assistance from foreign governments for flood-ravaged Kerala in sync with an existing policy.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the government was committed to meeting the requirements for relief and rehabilitation in Kerala through domestic efforts.

A number of countries including the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar and Maldives have announced assistance for flood relief operations in Kerala. Officials said that while declining to accept the assistance, India is conveying its sincere appreciation to the foreign nations for their offers to help flood affected people in Kerala.

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

Kumar said contributions to the Prime Minister's Relief Fund and the Chief Minister's Relief Fund from NRIs (Non Resident Indians, PIOs (Persons of Indian Origin) and international entities such as foundations will be welcomed.

The Kerala government had earlier on Wednesday voiced its unhappiness over the Centre's decision not to accept donations from foreign governments for flood relief operations in the state.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Finance Minister Thomas Isaac and former CM Oommen Chandy all raised questions as to how the state will recover from the massive damages if the Centre keeps rejecting foreign aid.

While the battered state has asked for a Rs 2,600 crore special package from the Centre for its Rs 20,000 crore losses, the latter has so far extended Rs 600 crore in help.

CM Vijayan said that treating UAE as “any other country” is not justified and that the Middle East nation is like a “second country” for the people of Kerala.

In a press conference, Vijayan said the national policy on disaster management, 2016, has a clause that says during such a disaster if any country voluntarily offers help, it can be accepted. He said he would approach the Prime Minister and have a discussion on the issue.

Isaac also tweeted that in the National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP), the Chapter 9 on international cooperation accepts that in time of severe calamity, voluntary aid given by a foreign government can be accepted. "Still if union government chooses to adopt a negative stance towards offer made by UAE gov they should compensate Kerala (sic)," he tweeted.

The NDMP says that 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.

But the MEA spokesperson made it clear there would be no rethink on the issue. "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," Kumar said.

"In line with the existing policy, the government is committed to meeting the requirements for relief and rehabilitation through domestic efforts," he said, in response to a question on the issue. India has not accepted any aid from a country or a multinational organisation since 2007.

Sources said funds coming from the UAE through foundations or international entities will be acceptable.

In a tweet, Thailand's Ambassador to India Chutintorn Sam Gongsakdi had earlier said that Indian government has informed his country that it will not accept overseas donations for flood relief operations in Kerala. "Informally informed with regret that GOI is not accepting overseas donations for Kerala flood relief. Our hearts are with you the people of Bharat," the Thai envoy tweeted.

The floods in Kerala, worst in a century, have claimed lives of 231 people besides rendering over 14 lakh people homeless.
| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
Read full article
Loading...
Next Story
Next Story

Also Watch

facebookTwittergoogleskypewhatsapp

Live TV

Loading...
Loading...