Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday night expressed happiness after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he had "very fruitful" discussions on how to rebuild the flood-battered state.
The CM called on Modi seeking the full support of the Centre in rebuilding the state in the aftermath of the worst ever floods in a century. Among the demands he has raised with Modi is a 10% increase in all central schemes, a sum of Rs 4,796 crore from the National Disaster Fund and Rs 5,000 crore as special grant.
The hike of 10% assistance in all central schemes in the state will generate an additional Rs 10,000 crores, said the CM.
The state had also sought to hike the existing debt limit of 3.5% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to 4.5% in the current fiscal year.
"Eighty per cent of Kerala's population has been directly or indirectly affected by the tragedy. The state alone cannot handle the crisis. Hence the complete support of the Centre is required and this has been brought to the attention of the Prime Minister," he said.
The CM, however, confirmed to the media that there is no change in the Centre’s stance with regard to receiving foreign aid.
We can receive aid from foreign companies operating in the country. However, there are obstacles in receiving aid from foreign governments. The PM cited certain examples in this regard, the CM said.
The rains and the ensuing disaster claimed 483 lives in the state and at the height of the deluge, there were 14.5 lakh people in over 3,000 relief camps.
"We have sought the help of the Centre to get assistance from the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. The PM has expressed all support in the demands that we raised."
He said there were issues in accepting help from foreign countries. "But there is no bar in accepting help from the diaspora."
Pinarayi Vijayan returned from the US on Sunday after being treated for an undisclosed ailment.
(With inputs from IANS)