Home >Politics >Policy >Pinarayi Vijayan meets Narendra Modi to rebuild flood-hit Kerala

Bengaluru: Giving a break to their political differences, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the latter’s residence in Delhi on Tuesday to discuss ways to rebuild flood-hit Kerala.

Vijayan requested assistance 4,796 crore special central grant from national disaster relief fund to which, he said in a televised press meet,Modi has “responded positively".

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Kerala was hit by its worst floods in a century in July, leaving a trail of death and destruction. A World Bank study this month pegged losses for the flood at 25,000 crore, which could go high after a final estimation by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) by October-end, Vijayan said, adding that the state on its own does not have the resources for a rebuilding of this scale.

The two leaders are bitter rivals politically, but that seemed to have taken a backstage when it comes to responding to the calamity. Vijayan heads the only ruling government in India under Communist Party of India (Marxist), which has strong objections against Modi, the national face of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the center.

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“He listened to us positively and has promised all help," said Vijayan, post the meeting.

Vijayan said he requested Modi’s intervention to raise the state’s debt ceiling to 4.5% and 3.5%, in this fiscal and next fiscal, respectively, from the current 3%, in order to borrow about 16,000 crore for rebuilding efforts from nationalized banks and others. The move, if happens, will be an unprecedented step on the part of center’s fiscal policy, and the state has been lobbying with the union finance ministry over it for a month.

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Apart from these, the chief minister also requested Modi to raise by 10% central projects funding through various departments, so that the state will get an additional 1,000 crore, and a 3,000 crore special assistance to rebuild damaged roads.

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