Kerala to pursue legal steps to avail foreign aid: CM
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.