Oommen Chandy urges Modi to amend rule on foreign aid

Thiruvananthapuram: Congress termed as disappointing the reports that the Centre was unlikely to accept any foreign financial aid for flood relief work in Kerala and requested the Prime Minister to take steps to amend the rules.

The rules should be such that they eradicate the sufferings of the people, former Chief Minister and Congress leader Oommen Chandy said.

“If there exists any obstacles against the acceptance of foreign financial aid, kindly look into the matter seriously and bring in suitable modifications, he said in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Chandy said the Centre should take further steps to provide maximum possible assistance to Kerala, where the floods have claimed the lives of 231 people, besides rendering over 14 lakh people homeless.

He said the financial assistance announced by the Centre was “disappointing,” taking into account the magnitude of the crisis.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has offered USD 100 million (around Rs 700 crore) as financial assistance for flood relief operations in Kerala.

Opposition leader in the assembly Ramesh Chennithala said that there was nothing wrong in accepting the UAE aid.

While announcing the UAE offer, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had stated that lakhs of people of the state consider UAE as their “second home.”

Around three million Indians live and work in the UAE out of which 80 per cent are from Kerala.

Tuesday, official sources had said in New Delhi that the government is unlikely to accept any foreign financial assistance for flood relief operations in Kerala.

They said that the government has taken a considered decision to rely solely on domestic efforts to tide over the situation.