Kerala Floods: Post-tsunami, then prime minister Manmohan Singh from the UPA government had agreed upon a foreign policy, by which it was decided not to accept any funds from foreign governments, during calamities in India.
Kerala floods destroyed most part of the state and a huge amount of money is needed to rebuild it. Many foreign countries including UAE have offered monetary help, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan expressed his gratitude for the same. However, the Centre had to deny, thanks to Indian foreign policy adopted in 2004.
Post-tsunami, then prime minister Manmohan Singh from the UPA government had agreed upon a foreign policy, by which it was decided not to accept any funds from foreign governments, during calamities in India. The belief that India is self sufficient in dealing with calamities is said to be the main reason behind forming this rule.
High rating of India by the World Bank, IMF and other global agencies is also another reason why it is not appropriate for India to accept foreign funds. Thus the Centre also has promised to send a survey team to Kerala to study the affects and it will decide on sending more money for rebuilding Kerala. Meanwhile, India strongly believes that it is self sufficient to deal with the problem.
Thus, following the same, India will not be able to receive any funds from UAE, which had offered a whopping sum of Rs 700 crore and Rs 35 lakhs from Maldives.
However, prior to 2004, India had received funds from foreign countries during Uttarkashi earthquake in 1991, Latur earthquake in 1993, Gujarat earthquake in 2001, cyclone in Bengal in 2002 and floods in Bihar in July 2004.
Thus, after Tsunami, which had killed more than 12,000 people and displaced more than 6 lakh people in India in December 2004, a policy was formed not to accept foreign funds. Another reason for this was that once the fund is accepted from any foreign government, it will be difficult to say no to any other country, which offers help. Thus, in the long run, it will be difficult to maintain relations from a diplomatic front.
After 2004, India has not accepted funds from Russia, US and Japan during Uttarakhand floods in 2013, during Kashmir earthquake in 2005, and Kashmir floods in 2014.
However, the same rule does not apply to any individuals or a group, which want to lend a helping hand. The fact is that help cannot be accepted from any foreign government while there is no problem in accepting if any group or individual wants to contribute financially.
Meanwhile, according to the latest report, Thailand has tweeted officially that India has refused to accept its financial aid. Reacting to this, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan has asked, if the foreign aid is not accepted, then who will pay for rebuilding Kerala? As a matter of fact, Kerala had demanded Rs 2000 crore to carry out relief work, and has received Rs 600 crore so far from the Centre.
Thailand's Ambassador to India Chutintorn Sam Gongsakdi tweeted: "Informally informed with regret that the Government of India is not accepting overseas donations for Kerala flood relief. Our hearts are with you, the people of Bharat."
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Last Updated Sep 9, 2018, 10:30 AM IST