Ker­ala to pur­sue le­gal steps to avail for­eign aid: CM

DNA (Delhi) - - INDIA -

Thiru­vanan­tha­pu­ram: As Ker­ala picks up the pieces, Chief Min­is­ter Pi­narayi Vijayan on Thurs­day said the gov­ern­ment would ex­plore the pos­si­bil­ity of le­gal op­tions to avail the funds of­fered to the state, in­clud­ing that from abroad.

His state­ment as­sumes sig­nif­i­cance in the wake of a row over the Cen­tre’s re­fusal to ac­cept the United Arab Emi­rates’ (UAE) re­ported of­fer of Rs 700 crore to the flood-hit state.

Ad­dress­ing a spe­cially con­vened one-day ses­sion of the state assem­bly to dis­cuss the un­prece­dented flood sit­u­a­tion, Vijayan said 483 peo­ple have lost lives in the state since the on­set of mon­soon on May 28 and 14 were still miss­ing.

He said the state’s econ­omy had been badly hit and the loss could be much more than the state’s an­nual plan out­lay for the year which stood at Rs 37,247.99 crore. “Of­fers of fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance for Ker­ala are pour­ing in from dif­fer­ent quar­ters of the world. The gov­ern­ment is also mov­ing to­wards le­gal steps to avail th­ese funds,” Vijayan said.

The funds of­fered from across the globe is giv­ing con­fi­dence to the gov­ern­ment, he said. Be­sides Rs 600 crore sanc­tioned by the Cen­tre, the state was hope­ful to get more fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance from the Union gov­ern­ment con­sid­er­ing the grav­ity of the sit­u­a­tion, the chief min­is­ter said.

“The Chief Min­is­ter’s dis­tress re­lief fund has re­ceived Rs 730 crore till Wed­nes­day,” he said, adding that the gov­ern­ment had also been of­fered land and jew­els to­wards re­lief fund. On the dis­cus­sions held with World Bank of­fi­cials for fund mo­bil­i­sa­tion, Vijayan said the gov­ern­ment pol­icy was to ac­cept funds from any quar­ters if it was in tune with the state’s in­ter­ests.

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