India turns down foreign govt’s assistance


India has made it clear that it will not accept any assistance from foreign governments for flood-ravaged Kerala pertaining to  an existing policy. External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, in line with the existing policy, Central government is committed to meet the requirements for relief and rehabilitation through domestic efforts.

A number of countries have announced assistance for flood relief operations in Kerala, such as the United Arab Emirates has offered USD 100 million (around Rs 700 crore), Qatar has pledged around Rs 35 crore and Maldives has announced a donation of USD 50,000 (Rs 35 lakh).

Kumar, however, 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.

It may be noted here that Kerala government has expressed its willingness to accept donations from UAE.

“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 adding, “In line with the existing policy, the government is committed to meeting the requirements for relief and rehabilitation through domestic efforts”.

The UAE offered an assistance of Rs 700 crore considering its links with Kerala. According to official reports, around three million Indians live and work in the UAE, out of which 80 per cent are from Kerala. The floods in Kerala, worst in a century, have claimed lives of 231 people besides rendering over 14 lakh people homeless.

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