THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has urged the MPs from the state to stand united to receive more Central assistance for rebuilding the state following the mid-August floods. He was speaking during an interaction between the MPs and the state government officials, including ministers.
MPs P Karunakaran and M B Rajesh presented a resolution calling for more Central aid for the state and to cancel the fee charged for the airlifting of flood victims. The resolution also hailed the Chief Minister and the state government for the exemplary rescue operation during the floods.
MPs Benoy Viswam and M P Veerendrakumar, in a resolution, demanded the Centre to withdraw the Rs 223.87 crore fee charged for the rice provided during the floods and called upon the Union Government to be give more consideration to the state. The Chief Minister said both the resolutions can be passed on to the Centre together.
Pinarayi said the state, which has been devastated following the ravaging floods, requires intervention from the Centre and has given a proposal for a special package of Rs 5,000 crore. Newspaper reports state the Centre has sanctioned Rs 2,500 crore and the state has already sent a letter to the Union Government seeking to provide the assistance immediately, he said.
He said the Central team had recommended to enhance the employment guarantee scheme to 150 days, but the notification in this regard is yet to come. “The MPs should keep this in mind while requesting for flood relief assistance,” he said. Pinarayi said certain policies of the Centre prevented the state from getting a huge amount as flood relief.
Ministers E Chandrasekharan, K Krishnankutty, Kadanappally Ramachandran, E P Jayarajan, A K Saseendran, Thomas Isaac, A K Balan, G Sudhakaran, P Thilothaman, K T Jaleel, C Raveendranath and K K Shailaja were present. MPs M B Rajesh, Joice George, P K Sreemathi, Benoy Viswam, P Karunakaran, M P Veerendrakumar, K Somaparasad, K K Ragesh, E T Mohammed Basheer, V Muralidharan, Kodikkunil Suresh and P V Abdul Wahab, Chief Secretary Tom Jose and other senior officers were present.
CM to MPs
Pinarayi urged the MPs to put preassure on the Centre to start a unit of the National Disaster Response Force in the state. The Chief Minister also suggested MPs to urge the Centre to increase the share of Central-assisted projects and also hike the loan limit from 3 per cent to 4.5 per cent of the internal revenue.