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India not accepting overseas aid for Kerala: Thailand

India not accepting overseas aid for Kerala: Thailand”

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said he would approach the Central government and urge it to follow the 2016 National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP) in considering the UAE government's offer of Rs 700 crore in financial assistance.

"It is only natural for nations to help each other", said Kerala's top elected official, Pinyari Vijayan, as residents waded into the huge cleanup effort after floods killed more than 200 people and drove more than 800,000 into relief shelters.

Earlier, the United Arab Emirates has offered $100 million (around Rs 700 crore) as financial assistance for flood relief operation in Kerala.

Almost 14.50 lakh people from 3.91 lakh families are still in about 3,879 relief camps across the state. "Why should it then prevent other countries, where many Malayalees live, and which are concerned with the well-being of Kerala, from offering help", he asked.

"It is below our dignity to accept foreign aid", he said in a tweet, mimicking and ridiculing the central government.

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Meanwhile, Thailand's Ambassador to India Chutintorn Sam Gongsakdi said India has refused to accept overseas donations for flood relief in Kerala.

"The Modi government apparently takes cover under the word may in the phrase: ". government may accept the offer".

The main opposition Congress party accused Modi of exacerbating the crisis by failing to come through with more aid and creating obstacles to foreign help.

"The government of India deeply appreciates offers from several countries, including from foreign governments, to assist in relief and rehabilitation efforts after the tragic floods in Kerala", he continued.

"A policy decision was taken by the Manmohan Singh government in December, 2004 in the aftermath of the Tsunami and that policy has been continued with for the last 14 years".

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A number of countries have offered aid to help rebuild a rain-battered Kerala, totalling around Rs 740 crore, but India has politely declined all offers.

Kerala finance minister Thomas Isaac questioned the Centre's ability to support the state.

"As a matter of policy, the Government of India does not issue any appeal for foreign assistance in the wake of a disaster. But I am not sure if there is anything wrong in seeking humanitarian assistance from foreign agencies, especially in areas where they have an edge over us", says Mansingh.

Interestingly, Prime Minister Modi thanked and expressed his gratitude to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE in a tweet on August 18. Acceptance of aid can in no way make India look like a poor country or a weakling.

Among the major donors to the United States for Hurricane Katrina relief work were Qatar and UAE which offered $ 100 million each.

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