Kerala floods: After political turmoil, UAE ambassador says Rs 700 crore aid not final

New Delhi: In a recent development, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has rejected reports about the offering of Rs 700 crore aid from the Gulf nation to the flood-ravaged Kerala.

The UAE has said that it is yet to take a final decision over the financial assistance to Kerala in the wake of devastating floods.

As per a leading daily, the UAE Ambassador Ahmed Albanna has said that there has been no official announcement so far by the UAE on any specific amount as financial aid.

“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 was quoted as saying by the Indian Express.

“All that has happened is that UAE’s Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has formed a national emergency committee. The main goal was to look into sourcing out funds, aid material, medicines and other things for our friendly people and friends in Kerala, who have been hit by the unfortunate flood,” added Albanna.

Earlier, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, in a statement, said that the state govt will approach PM Modi to do away with obstacles, if any, in receiving the100 million dollars (Rs 700 crore) assistance offered to the state by the United Arab Emirates.

Referring to reports that Centre was unlikely to accept foreign funds for the flood relief works, he said there were no obstacles for accepting such assistance.

“Donations from other countries are acceptable. Will approach the Prime Minister if required,” he had told reporters.

Several Ministers from Kerala have already accused the BJP government of deliberately trying to block the purported foreign aide to the state.

State finance minister Thomas Issac had questioned the government at the centre through a tweet which read,”We asked Union Gov for financial support of Rs 2200 Cr; they grant us a precious Rs 600 Cr. We make no request to any foreign gov but UAE gov voluntarily offer Rs 700cr. No, says Union gov, it is below our dignity to accept foreign aid. This is a dog in the manger policy.”

The Centre has already clarified that the Rs 600 crore it has given to Kerala was an “advance help” and more funds will be released after an assessment of the damage.