“BJP has taken an adamant stand that Kerala shouldn’t receive even a single rupee”, Finance Minister Thomas Isaac claims
Last two years have been the most difficult for Kerala to get back to normalcy. The constant demands to the centre for the funds to rebuilt and rehabilitate Kerala was on hold. Unfortunately, this time when centre release the funds Kerala was excluded from the list. The list includes seven states and calamity relief was approved of Rs 5,908 crore from the National Disaster Relief Fund.
Amit Shah the home minister chaired a high-committee meeting chosen seven states. Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Tripura, Assam, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh.
HLC approved additional central assistance of Rs. 5908.56 crore to seven States from National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) Rs 616.63 crore to Assam, Rs 284.93 crore to Himachal Pradesh, Rs 1869.85 crore to Karnataka, Rs 1749.73 crore to Madhya Pradesh, Rs 956.93 crore to Maharashtra, Rs 63.32 to Tripura and Rs 367.17 crore to Uttar Pradesh for floods/ landslides/cloudburst during south-west monsoon 2019.
Kerala was kept out from the list even after consistence call for funds. The Centre had earlier released an interim finance of Rs 3200 crore to four states, were Kerala was not included. The interim financial aid of Rs. 3,200 crore was given to 4 States Rs 1200 crore to Karnataka, Rs 1000 crore to Madhya Pradesh, Rs 600 crore to Maharashtra and Rs 400 crore to Bihar.
The first big flood of 2018 which hit the state, reported loss of Rs 20000 and Centre offered Rs 600 crore. Later, Minister EP Jayarajan said that, following the recession of water levels, the total loss is Rs 40000.
The second flood of 2019, the Disaster Management Authority of Kerala, reported a loss of Rs 2101 crore. But examining the floods of 2019, the Centre has not claimed any major relief.
Seven-member team from the Centre had come in September to visit the flood-hit and landslide affected areas that was the last step from the centre after that no update form the centre regarding the aid.
The decision, excluding Kerala from the list of states receiving calamity-relief funds, has come under severe criticism from the state government.
The response of the centre towards Kerala has raise many questions for the state government. Kerala’s Finance Minister Thomas Isaac has called the decision unfortunate.
Thomas Isaac said, “Kerala had submitted a memorandum stating a loss to the tune of Rs 2109 crore. However, Amit Shah and his team have not allotted even a single rupee for the state, but from the news reports, it is understood that Rs 5908 crore was allotted to some other states. This discrimination we have seen at the time of 2018 floods also. At that time, the BJP had carried out propaganda that no assistance should be given for the state. The propaganda was followed up by a decision to deny permission for the ministers of the state to visit foreign countries to seek assistance. Malayalis from across the globe had been willing to help us. The Kerala ministers’ foreign visits were planned also to coordinate the helping sources. The ban on the visit was a direct blow for the state.”
He added that the BJP has taken an adamant stand that Kerala shouldn’t receive even a single rupee more to tide over the flood distress.