Kerala’s finance minister Thomas Isaac on Thursday implored the Centre to accept aid offered by a ‘friendly foreign government,’ referring to assistance from the UAE.
In an exclusive interview to CNN News18, Isaac said, “Here’s a friendly foreign govt that has a lot of cultural ties with this part (Kerala) of India. More than half of the population residing there belong to Kerala. The country offered, we never asked anybody (for aid).”
He further said, “There is a national disaster policy management plan, Chapter 9 on international co-operation which says that in such circumstances...if a foreign government voluntary offers, the central government can consider it,” Isaac said.
On Wednesday, Isaac had said on Twitter:
We asked Union Gov for financial support of ₹2200 Cr ; they grant us a precious ₹600 Cr . We make no request to any foreign gov but UAE gov voluntarily offer ₹700cr. No, says Union gov , it is below our dignity to accept foreign aid. This is a dog in the manger policy.
— Thomas Isaac (@drthomasisaac) August 22, 2018
Earlier, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said his government would approach Prime Minister Narendra Modi, if needed, to get the aid cleared.
The UAE has offered the maximum amount (Rs 700 crore) of aid to Kerala for flood relief. Other countries which have offered substantial sums of money are Qatar ($5 million) and Maldives ($50,000).
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Updated Date: Aug 23, 2018 18:45:28 IST