New Delhi: Thailand’s Ambassador Chutintorn Sam Gongsakdi has said that India has refused to accept overseas donations for flood relief in Kerala. Taking it to the micro-blogging site, Twitter, he said, “Informally informed with regret that the Government of India is not accepting overseas donations for Kerala flood relief. Our hearts are with you, the people of Bharat.” (ALSO READ: PM Modi Announces Rs 500 Crore as Interim Relief)
The United Arab Emirates, home to hundreds of thousands of Keralites, had earlier offered Rs 700 crore as flood relief for Kerala. The Maldives and Qatar also reportedly offered donations for the flood-ravaged state.
On Tuesday, United Arab Emirates (UAE) had offered Rs 700 crore to help rebuild the flood-hit state. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, called up Prime Minister Modi and made the offer for assistance.
According to news agency PTI, official sources had said that the government is unlikely to accept any foreign financial assistance for flood relief operations in Kerala. They had said that the government has taken a considered decision to rely solely on domestic efforts to tide over the situation.
The government of Maldives has also decided to donate USD 50,000 (Rs 35 lakh) for flood-affected people in Kerala. It is understood that the UN is also offering some assistance for Kerala.
As the cabinet took stock of the havoc caused by the unprecedented floods in a century, the Centre released Rs 600 crore to Kerala and decided to waive customs duty and GST on the relief materials being imported for the affected people.
The central assistance of Rs 500 crore as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Rs 100 crore by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh was released on Tuesday.
A special session of the state assembly has been convened on August 30 to discuss the situation arising from the calamitous floods.
The toll rose to 231 with the recovery of eight more bodies from different parts today while over 14.50 lakh people are taking shelter in more than 3,200 relief camps a fortnight after a murderous monsoon rampaged through the state in its second spell that began on August 8, the government said.
In the past 14 years, India has refused aid from Russia, US, and Japan for Uttarakhand floods in 2013, and for the Kashmir earthquake in 2005 and floods in Kashmir in 2014.