Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and most of his ministers are set to go abroad by mid-October to raise funds for rebuilding Kerala after the devastating floods in August.
Pinarayi told mediapersons today that the World Bank team, which assessed the loss caused by floods, estimated it to be around Rs 25,050 crore. Rebuilding Kerala would be humungous task needing a very huge amount.
He said the Centre was sticking to its earlier stand that no foreign aid could be accepted. The State Government was trying its best to convince the Centre of the need to change the norm as Kerala was in dire need of funds.
The ministers would be travelling during the Puja holidays in the middle of the month, Pinarayi added. According to sources in the government, but for Education Minister C. Raveendranath, Health Minister KK Shailaja and Forest Minister K Raju, all ministers and secretaries concerned would be away between October 18 and 21. Each minister has been assigned countries and will contact non-resident indians (NRI) to raise funds for the rebuilding exercise. It will be mainly the Malayali population that they would target.
Pinarayi will be visiting Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. Incidentally, the UAE had promised Rs 700 crore but the Central policy had stood in the way. Pinarayi had been to the US recently for treatment and before returning to the State had meetings with groups of the Malayali diaspora there and done the spade work.
Finance Minister Thomas Isaac is to visit parts of the US to garner funds for rebuilding Kerala. Raju’s Germany visit at the peak of the floods had created a controversy, forcing him to rush back early.