While the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has extended Rs700 crore as financial assistance to rebuild the flood-ravaged state, the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is now seeking Prime Minister Narendra Modi to announce a special package for reconstruction of the state.
According to Vijayan, the UAE, home to hundreds of thousands of Keralites, has informed Prime Minister Narendra Modi that it would be providing Rs 700 crore for Kerala. “A new Kerala has to be built. At today’s cabinet meeting, it has been decided to submit a detailed list to the Centre,” he said.
Stating that funds are the prime requisite for this, Chief Minister said that this will be raised by us through various sources besides getting it from the Centre and other agencies. For this, he said that the Kerala diaspora has been a huge source of help for us. Since they have done tremendous service in the Middle East, it has helped build good relations with the governments there.
Vijayan also said they would ask the Centre to allow Kerala to increase the market borrowings from 3% of the state’s total revenue to 4.5 per cent. As a result an additional Rs10,000 crore can be raised. “We have decided to approach agencies like NABARD whose mandate includes providing for infrastructure and drinking water”, he added.
Following the devastating floods, over one million people are now sheltered in 3,274 relief camps in the state. The death toll since the monsoon rains began on May 29 has been estimated at around 370. Till Monday, the total contributions received to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund was Rs 210 crore while another Rs 160 crore has been pledged.