New Delhi: At a time when Centre and Kerala government are at loggerheads over financial aid announced by United Arab Emirates for the rehabilitation of the flood-ravaged state, UAE Ambassador Ahmed Albanna told a leading daily that there has been no official announcement so far by the Gulf country on any specific amount as financial assistance. Notably, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had earlier this week, claimed that Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and extended Rs 700 Crores as financial assistance to rebuild the flood-ravaged state, where more than 300 people lost their lives. Also Read - Politics Heats up Over Farm Bills 2020, PM Modi Says Opposition Misleading Farmers; Cong Calls it 'Blatant Attack' on Federal Structure
While speaking to Indian Express, UAE Ambassador Ahmed Albanna dismissed Vijayan claims saying,”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. (Kerala Knocks on SC Door, Says TN Responsible For Flood; Centre Assures of More Fund if Needed) Also Read - 'Great Leader And Loyal Friend', Trump's Birthday Wish For PM Modi
The development comes a day after Centre insisted that it cannot take foreign aid for the state because of a 2004 policy by the then Manmohan Singh government, it said NGOs and similar parties could make donations. Issuing a statement, the Narendra Modi govt said that the Rs 600 crore aid released for Kerala was just an interim help and additional funds would be released when an inter-ministerial team visits the state again and assesses the damage. Also Read - Happy Birthday Narendra Modi: Kangana Ranaut Prays For Prime Minister’s Long Life in a Video
“It is clarified that Rs 600 crore released by Centre is the advance assistance only. Additional funds would be released from NDRF on assessment of the damages as per laid down procedure,” the statement said. The Centre had released Rs 600 crore as promised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Rs 500 crore) and Home Minister Rajnath Singh (Rs 100 crore) during their visits to the state.