FIC asks Kerala to pay Rs 205 cr for flood relief

 Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. (PTI Photo)

The Food Corporation of India has asked Kerala to pay Rs 205 crore for the rice allotted as flood relief during 2018-19. The Centre had on January 6 approved the release of Rs 5,908.56 crore to seven states, including Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Assam, as assistance for the damage caused due to various calamities last year.

In a letter dated January 6, the FCI has asked the state to settle the bill towards the cost of 89,450 tonnes of rice provided during flood relief during the 2018-19 floods.

The letter also said communication in this regard was earlier sent on December 5, 2019, and December 30, 2019.

"..it was requested to take necessary steps to settle the bill raised by FCI towards the cost of 89,540 tonnes of rice lifted from FCI against the additional allocation made under flood relief during 2018-19 and remit the amount of Rs 205.81 crore to FCI at the earliest," the letter undersigned by Corporation's General Manager for Kerala said.

The letter was addressed to the state Disaster Management Authority.

Kerala had demanded over Rs 2,100 crore to deal with the damage caused by heavy rains and landslips that claimed 120 lives and led to widespread destruction of property in northern Kerala.

The CPI, a major ally in the ruling Left government in the state, alleged that the denial of aid to Kerala shows the "narrow-minded political stand" of the centre.

"When the centre yesterday allotted Rs 5,908 crore to the seven states for dealing with damage from various natural calamities, the committee headed by Union Minister Amit Shah refused to allot even a single rupee to Kerala.

The state was also denied any assistance when an interim aid was given to four states earlier," CPI state chief Kanam Rajendran said in a release. 

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