India fumes after Modi government ‘rejects’ foreign help for Kerala flood victims

0

The Centre’s Narendra Modi government has reportedly rejected the relief aid offered by foreign countries such as UAE, Qatar and Thailand for Kerala flood victims.

Kerala flood

In a statement issued on Wednesday night, the foreign ministry said, “In line with existing policy, the government of India is committed to meeting the requirements for relief and rehabilitation through domestic efforts.”

The decision by the Modi government has left Kerala government seething in anger since it desperately needs financial assistance for flood victims and rebuild the state. According to an estimate, Kerala has suffered a loss of Rs 19,000 crore, while the Centre has only pledged a support of Rs 600 crore.

UAE had announced a support of Rs 700 crore prompting many to condemn Modi and his dirty politics to Punish Keralites since it did not elect a BJP government in the last assembly elections.

Reacting to the development, Kerala’s finance minister, Thomas Isaac tweeted, “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.”

An angry Isaac said that National Disaster Management Plan Chapter 9 on international cooperation accepted that ‘in time severe calamity voluntary aid given by a foreign gov can be accepted.’ “Still if Union Gov chooses to adopt a negative stance towards offer made by UAE gov they should compensate Kerala,” he added.

A section on ‘International Cooperation’ in the National Disaster Management Plan published in 2016, reads, “As a matter of policy, the Government of India does not issue any appeal for foreign assistance in the wake of a disaster. However, if the national government of another country voluntarily offers assistance as a goodwill gesture in solidarity with the disaster victims, the Central Government may accept the offer… In consultation with the concerned State Government, the MHA (Home Ministry) will assess the response requirements that the foreign teams can provide.”

Like Isaac, Thailand ambassador to India too tweeted informing that his country had been told that the Modi government will not accept any help for Kerala victims. Ambassador Chutintorn Sam Gongsakdi tweeted, “Informally informed with regret that GOI is not accepting overseas donations for Kerala flood relief. Our hearts are with you the people of Bharat.”

The government’s decision has angered activists and journalists alike. Journalist Tony Joseph wrote, “If the Central Govt stops the flow of external aid to Kerala’s flood victims, it will need to answer these questions quickly: 1. How on earth could you then allow political parties to access foreign funds?! 2. How come Gujarat can get foreign funds but Kerala should not?”

One user wrote sarcastically, “Political parties can accept Foreign funding.. Cannot bring back Nirav Modi & Vijay Mallya.. Can take 1 lakh crore Japanese loan for Bullet train.. Companies can accept foreign investment.. But Flood-ravaged Kerala can’t receive foreign aid..”

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here