Free Press Journal

Kerala Floods: Government unlikely to accept Rs 700 crore UAE flood relief funds

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(PTI Photo) (PTI8_21_2018_000178B)

New Delhi: Even as flood ravaged Kerala is looking for financial succour from all sides, the NDA government has decided not to accept a magnanimous offer of Rs 700 crore from UAE. According to sources, the government has taken a decision in principle to depend on domestic sources to grapple with the situation. However, the final decision will be taken by the Ministry of External Affairs. The MEA also said that it hasn’t got any offer or proposal from UAE yet.

The United Arab Emirates had on Tuesday offered USD 100 million (around Rs 700 crore) as financial assistance for flood relief operations. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, called up Prime Minister Modi and made the offer for assistance, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said in Thiruvananthapuram.Around three million Indians live and work in the UAE out of which 80 per cent are from Kerala. The government of Maldives has also decided to donate USD 50,000 (Rs 35 lakh).

Kerala, in turn, has sought Rs 2,600 crore special package from the Centre for its massive restructuring exercise. The central government has so far released Rs 600 crore. The chief minister had earlier said the state had suffered damages of about Rs 20,000 crore. The Ministry of Home Affairs has, in turn, clarified that Indians staying abroad can send their donations to Kerala Chief Minister’s Relief Fund as that will be tax free. “If foreign aid is coming to non-profits or NGOs which are registered under the Foreign Contribution (regulation) Act (FCRA) then they will not be taxed. But if donations are received by NGOs which are not registered, then it is counted as the income of the NGO and that will be taxed,” a senior officer told NDTV.