KOCHI: The detailed report prepared by the government on the extent of damage in various sectors during the last year’s floods and the funds’ requirement is nearing completion and is expected to be placed before the Cabinet for approval on May 22.
“The report is nearing completion. It will have details on the damage caused in the floods, and the funds required in various sectors,” said Principal Secretary Venu V. “The report will be submitted before the Cabinet after the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan returns from his European tour,” he said.
The Chief Minister will be leaving for a 10-day European tour next week to participate in the listing ceremony of masala bonds by Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) on the London Stock Exchange. KIIFB raised `2,150 crore through the rupee-denominated bonds. The listing ceremony is on May 17. Pinarayi is expected to be back in Kerala immediately after the listing ceremony.
Once the report is cleared by the Cabinet, Venu said, it will be submitted to the World Bank. The World Bank is expected to release $500 million in funding for the rebuild Kerala initiative, following the floods -- the biggest to hit Kerala in a century. “We are also simultaneously negotiating with the World Bank for the funding needs,” said Venu. “We hope to conclude the deal with the World Bank in the next couple of months,” he said.
The flood-damage and funding-requirements report is being prepared in consultation with various ministries to map the flood losses and the infrastructure and related projects to be built or rebuilt. By assessing the losses and required projects, the government can estimate the funds it would need for the exercise, the officers said.
A joint team of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) had earlier pegged the loss at over `25,000 crore. While the two agencies had verbally committed to lending funds to the tune of $500 million each, Venu said the government is at present in talks only with the World Bank.
Last October, the World Bank had said it was looking to extend support of up to $500 million to Kerala’s comprehensive flood recovery efforts and to build greater resilience to future shocks.
“The support is subject to the Government of India’s formal request and will have to be approved by the World Bank Board of Governors,” it had said. As an immediate step, the World Bank reallocated up to $55 million from its current portfolio of projects in India to support the state’s reconstruction investments.