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‘Rules Should be to End Suffering’: Ex-Kerala CM Oommen Chandy Tells PM Modi to Remove Obstacles for Foreign Aid

He said rules should be made to eradicate suffering of people, adding that any obstacles against the acceptance of foreign aid should be looked into seriously and suitable modifications be made.

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Updated:August 22, 2018, 6:45 PM IST
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‘Rules Should be to End Suffering’: Ex-Kerala CM Oommen Chandy Tells PM Modi to Remove Obstacles for Foreign Aid
File photo of former Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy. (PTI Photo)
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Thiruvananthapuram: A day after sources said the Centre would turn down UAE’s Rs 700 crore monetary aid for flood-hit Kerala, Congress leader and former CM Oommen Chandy criticised the government’s decision to decline the offer.

In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chandy said the central government's financial assistance of Rs 600 crore for the state and the decision to reject foreign aid were both “quite disappointing” given the magnitude of the crisis.

“We are expecting reasonable monetary help to wipe the tears of our poor people and bring them back to normalcy,” Chandy wrote.

He also thanked people and organisations from across the country and abroad who had decided to offer financial help.

“His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan expressed his philanthropic attitude by put forwarding financial assistance of 700 crores of Indian Rupees to Kerala. Now reports being spread that the government of India denied to accept this great monetary help,” Chandy wrote.

He said rules should be made to eradicate suffering of people, adding that any obstacles against the acceptance of foreign aid should be looked into seriously and suitable modifications be made.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) had on Tuesday offered USD 100 million (around Rs 700 crore) as financial assistance for flood relief operation in Kerala.

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, called up Prime Minister Modi and made the offer for assistance, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said in Thiruvananthapuram

However, official sources have said that India has not accepted direct bilateral aid since 2007 and there would be no exceptions made now. The reason, they said, was that the government feels it has the capability to deal with any emergencies on its own.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and finance Minister Thomas Isaac have also raised questions as to how the state will recover from the massive damages if the Centre keeps rejecting foreign aid.

CM Vijayan has made it clear 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.
| Edited by: Padmaja Venkataraman
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