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The other donors included Indian businessman Yousef Ali, owner and the Director of the Lulu Commercial Group, who is from Kerala, who donated AED 5 million, and Dr. BR Shetty, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NMC Specialist Hospital, who also donated AED 5 million, to support the Indian government's efforts to help the flood victims.

"The government of India deeply appreciates offers from several countries, including from foreign governments, to assist in relief and rehabilitation efforts after the tragic floods in Kerala", the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

However, media reports suggest that India is most likely to decline any foreign financial aid for flood relief operations in Kerala.

"In line with the existing policy, the government is committed to meeting the requirements for relief and rehabilitation through domestic efforts", he said, in response to a question on the issue. In the aftermath of the tsunami in December 2004 in the Indian Ocean, the Manmohan Singh government refused to accept financial assistance from foreign countries. "Please send money to the chief minister's relief fund and not to NGOs that are not credible", he said.

India, in fact, extended $25 million financial aid to Pakistan, which had sought help from global community.

"The government is open to accepting foreign aid and humanitarian assistance", an NDTV report said, citing sources.

"It was during the NDA government that India made a decision to be selective in receiving foreign aid", says Mansingh.

"As soon as this (UAE) aid was announced, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that this was an indeed welcome gesture".

The sources say that the government feels that it can handle the calamity by itself with in-house resources without depending on overseas donations. Given the above, the central assistance of Rs 600 crore has not won hearts in the state.

"It would be ridiculous to expect the present government to suddenly reverse that policy and accept foreign aid", columnist Indrani Bagchi wrote in the Indian newspaper The Economic Times.

The Kerala government had asked the Centre for 1.14 lakh tons of rice, the equivalent of the rice distributed through the state's public distribution network a month.

The policy of non-acceptance of foreign financial assistance has been practice ever since barring a few exceptions like the Uttarakhand cloudburst of 2013 and Odisha cyclone of 2014. Close to three million Indians live in the Persian Gulf region, of whom, 80 per cent are from Kerala.

As Kerala is struggling to find its ground after the devastating floods, financial aid and technical assistance have been pouring in from all corners of the country as well as from the world.

Numerous new arrivals in relief camps are people who have returned to their homes to find them uninhabitable.

If Paswan's assurance is not put on paper, Kerala will be left with only Rs 368 crore for relief and rehabilitation after paying the Centre for the rice.

The state claims that the situation in Kerala fits the bill.

"Rescue operations are nearly complete".


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