While the United Arab Emirates has pledged Rs 700 crore for relief efforts in flood-ravaged Kerala, there is no still clarity as to whether the Indian government will accept the aid, since it would amount to reversing a 15-year long convention that was first adopted in the wake of the tsunami in 2004, as per a report by Suhasini Haidar in The Hindu.
Former Indian envoy to the US Ronen Sen said that India had declined the aid offer from the US after the tsunami that hit the southern coasts in 2004.
However, against the backdrop of similar aid proposals after the Uttarakhand floods of 2013, the then MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin had said that India has â€śadequate abilityâ€ť to address the situation in such cases.
Meanwhile, former Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran said that not accepting foreign donation is not something set in stone, as it was a decision taken by the Cabinet Committee on Security at the time when former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said that India was capable of managing its domestic issues as well as assist other tsunami-hit countries.
A report in Business Standard also said that India will most likely 'politely refuse' UAE's help.
â€śThe central government is of the stand that Kerala can take help from individuals abroad. But if any government is ready to help, we should not take it,â€ť a senior official from the finance ministry of Kerala told the newspaper.
According to the report, a document that was circulated among top officers of Kerala said that the task of rebuilding the state was something the state and Centre could manage.
According to a document circulated among state officials spearheading the relief operations, early indications point toward requirements that are within the capacity of the people and the Government of India to meet. The document apparently also told Kerala government to inform other countries that offered help that the Indian government and the Kerala state could manage for now.