New Delhi: After the Indian Air force asked the Kerala government to recompense it for the rescue efforts during the floods, CM Pinarayi Vijayan urged the Centre to expedite the promised assistance to the state.
Vijayan said the state had received only Rs 2,683.18 Crore in its Distress Relief Fund and was finding it difficult to cobble resources for the 're-build Kerala initiative.'
He said the state has to pay Rs 290 crore to the Centre towards the rations received and rescue assistance provided during the floods.
"The Air Force has asked the state to pay over Rs 33.79 crore as the charge incurred for the rescue efforts during the deluge," Vijayan told reporters.
He also said he was planning to send a letter to the Centre to expedite the assured assistance.
Vijayan said he had also written to Union Home minister Rajnath Singh to convene a high power committee meeting to provide assistance to the state.
This is because the assistance will be provided only after the committee meeting, he said.
The Centre has said the Rs 600-crore aid extended to Kerala for flood relief was interim in nature and that more funds would be released after assessment of the damage by central teams.
The chief minister said Kerala had not only been denied the central assistance it deserved, but also lost the foreign aid announced by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) due to the 'intervention' of the union government.
"We are not losing hope. However, assistance worth thousands of crores of rupees from foreign countries have been denied," he said.
A row had erupted in September last over the Centre's refusal to accept UAE's reported offer of Rs 700 crore to the flood-hit state. The Centre had said that India would not accept any assistance from foreign governments for Kerala in sync with an existing policy.
Vijayan also pointed out that state ministers were denied permission by the NDA government to visit foreign countries to mobilise funds for the rebuilding exercise.
(With agency inputs)