Kerala, Aug 24, 2018 : As the political turmoil between the Centre and the Kerala government over the acceptance of foreign funds for the rehabilitation of the state intensifies, United Arab Emirates (UAE) finding itself embroiled in the tug of war has denied official announcement of any specific amount as financial aid for the state, according to a report.
In a report by The Indian Express on Thursday, UAE Ambassador Ahmed Albanna said that there has been no official announcement yet on any specific amount of financial assistance to Kerala.
“The assessment of relief needed for the flood and aftermath is ongoing. Announcing any specific amount as financial aid, I don’t think it is final, since it is still ongoing,” Albanna said.
After torrential rains and devastating floods wreaked the southern state of Kerala, UAE was the first foreign nation that extended help to the state earlier this week.
On Tuesday, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said that the UAE had offered a financial assistance of Rs 700 crore (USD 100 million) to the southern coastal state, which has been battered by incessant rains and floods. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, called up Prime Minister Modi and made the offer for assistance, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said in Thiruvananthapuram.
Around three million Indians live and work in the UAE out of which 80 per cent are from Kerala.
However, on the same day reports surfaced that India had refused to accept funds from foreign governments for Kerala in sync with an existing policy and the government had taken a considered decision to rely solely on domestic efforts to tide over the situation.
The government of Maldives had also decided to donate USD 50,000 (Rs 35 lakh) for Kerala. It is understood that the UN is also offering some assistance for Kerala. However, sources said India is unlikely to accept the assistance.
The floods in Kerala, worst in a century, have claimed lives of over 300 people.